The Royal Australian Navy’s third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, NUSHIP Sydney, has successfully completed its sea trials, putting the ship on track to join the fleet in early 2020.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the success of Sydney’s sea trials represents a significant step towards its delivery in February 2020.
Sydney is the third and final ship being delivered by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, which includes the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia and ASC Shipbuilding, supported by Navantia Australia.
“Today’s milestone is another example of the Liberal and National government’s successful initiative to reform the AWD program, setting the scene for the Naval Shipbuilding Plan. Sydney will enter into service early next year, and with her sister ships HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane, they will be the most potent warships to date,” Minister Reynolds explained.
HMAS Sydney is the third of three Hobart Class guided-missile destroyers, the most complex and capable warships Australia has operated. The ship, alongside HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane, will primarily provide air defence for accompanying ships, in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas.
The Hobart Class’ Spanish counterparts entered service with the Spanish Navy beginning in the early 2000s, working alongside key NATO and US maritime assets.
When deployed to the Persian Gulf, the F100s became the first foreign Aegis-equipped ships to fully integrate into a US Navy Carrier Strike Group, while the class has also successfully deployed as the flagship of NATO’s Maritime Group Standing Reaction Force, highlighting the individual and interoperable capabilities of Navy’s new destroyers.
Minister Reynolds expanded on the ship’s focus on interoperability, saying, “By using a combination of Australian and globally proven technologies, these highly capable warships are truly world-class and will allow us to work even closer with our allies.”
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), will provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometres.
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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.
Following Sydney’s sea trials, final production work, including the integration of the MH-60R helicopter, will be completed ahead of the ship’s provisional acceptance into service in February 2020.