On Monday, 12 September 2016, the future Air Warfare Destroyer Hobart departed the wharf at Techport Adelaide for the first time to commence several days of ship builder sea trials off the coast of South Australia.
This first phase of trials is designed to test the ship’s hull, propulsion and navigation systems. A second phase of more advanced trials will take place in early 2017 when Hobart tests its combat and communications systems.
The commencement of Sea Trials is a significant milestone for the Air Warfare Destroyer project and a major step towards delivery of the most capable warships ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy.
The AWD Alliance consisting of the Commonwealth, ASC and Raytheon Australia is scheduled to deliver the first destroyer in mid-2017.
The Air Warfare Destroyer Project enters an exciting new phase with Hobart commencing its first series of sea trials. This phase will demonstrate the functionality of the ship’s propulsion, maneuvering, auxiliary, control and navigation systems.
Throughout the Builder’s Sea Trials period the ship is being operated under the command of a civilian Master and crew, augmented by specialists from Alliance partners ASC and Raytheon Australia and other equipment suppliers, who are performing the system testing and trials.
Before the ship was put to sea, the AWD Alliance conducted a comprehensive assessment to ensure the safety of the ship, embarked personnel, the environment and other seafarers. This assessment is defined as the Alliance Sea Trials Release Process and has three major steps; the Sea Worthiness Assessment, Ship Sea Trials Release and Sea Readiness Confirmation.
During Builder’s Sea Trials, whilst the ship is at sea, a dedicated shore support team remains in constant communications with the Ship’s Master to assist the ship and ensure the success of the trials.
In the lead up to Builder Sea Trials the AWD Alliance completed a number of important alongside dock trials - testing the ships systems before it departed to sea for the first time. Tests included Inclining Trials, measuring the ship’s stability and vertical centre of gravity; and Bollard Trials, testing the ship’s propulsion system.