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Navy officially welcomes final air warfare destroyer to fleet

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, have officially welcomed the commissioning of the third and final Hobart Class guided-missile destroyer, HMAS Sydney (V). 

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, have officially welcomed the commissioning of the third and final Hobart Class guided-missile destroyer, HMAS Sydney (V). 

The government’s air warfare destroyer program has officially come to an end with the commissioning of HMAS Sydney at sea. Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the commissioning of HMAS Sydney marks a significant milestone in the Morrison government’s $90 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

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"The commissioning of the final Hobart Class destroyer not only marks the beginning of a new era for the Navy, but also demonstrates the success of this government’s Australian Naval Shipbuilding Plan," Minister Reynolds said. 

"The Navy is now equipped with a new level of flexibility and lethality to protect maritime task groups operating in an increasingly complex region, while also allowing us to work even closer with our allies."

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, said as the fifth warship to bear this name, she inherits an important legacy. 

"Sydney was technically upgraded during her build to integrate the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ Seahawk submarine-hunting helicopter and her close-in weapons systems, making her Australia’s most lethal ship," VADM Noonan said. 

He expanded on the roles expected of Sydney and her sister-ships, saying, "She is designed to protect task groups by providing air defence to accompanying ships, in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and self-protection against missiles and aircraft."

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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 added, “The Hobart Class destroyers are the first Australian warships equipped with the US Aegis combat management system, and will allow us to work closer with our allies than ever before.”

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.

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.

Navy officially welcomes final air warfare destroyer to fleet
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