The Australian Defence Force’s third Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), Sydney, has commenced its first phase of sea trials, which will test the ship’s hull, propulsion and navigation systems.
The initial trial phase will be followed by a more advanced phase of sea trials in October to test the ship’s combat and communications systems in preparation for delivery next year.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds highlighted the role of industry as a fundamental input to capability and supporting the delivery of the future HMAS Sydney.
“Over the past decade, more than 5,000 people from across the Department of Defence, ASC, Raytheon Australia and Navantia have dedicated millions of hours of work towards delivering the most capable warships ever to be operated by the Royal Australian Navy,” Minister Reynolds said.
Minister Reynolds added, “This is underpinned by over 2,700 suppliers who have supported the AWD Alliance in its efforts to expand Australian industry capability for the overall program.”
AWD Alliance general manager Paul Evans echoed the comments by Minister Reynolds, saying, “Our highly skilled Air Warfare Destroyer workforce has taken Sydney to sea at the greatest level of completion, capability and quality of all three destroyers at this stage.”
Australia’s Hobart Class guided-missile destroyers (DDG) are based on Navantia’s F100 Alvaro De Bazan Class of frigates and incorporate the Lockheed Martin Aegis combat management system with Australian-specific equipment to ensure that the RAN is capable of defending Australia and its national interests well into the next two decades.
“This is a remarkable achievement by all involved, from ASC, Raytheon Australia, the Commonwealth and Navantia. Together, this team is delivering the Royal Australian Navy with their most capable warships that are providing the outer tier of integrated air and missile defence for Australia,” Evans added.
The vessels will be capable across the full spectrum of joint maritime operations, from area air defence and escort duties, right through to peacetime national tasking and diplomatic missions.
The Hobart Class Combat System is built around the Aegis Weapon System, incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar, AN/SPY 1D(V), and will provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometres.
While based upon the Spanish F100s, the Australian vessels incorporate a number of modifications and Australian-specific structural/design and combat system modifications to provide a uniquely Australian surface combatant with international provenance.
“We look forward to delivering this ship to the Navy next year to complete their fleet and continue providing world-leading force protection for Australia,” Evans said.
Minister Reynolds added, “Through the AWD program, we have created a local workforce with specialist shipbuilding and complex systems integration skills that will form the foundation for future shipbuilding projects in Australia.”