First AWD accepted by Defence

First AWD accepted by Defence

First AWD accepted by defence
AWD Hobart acceptance ceremony

The first Air Warfare Destroyer (Hobart) was provisionally accepted by the government at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne attended a ceremony at the shipyard.

Minister Pyne said Hobart is the first of three AWD’s being built and integrated by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, which comprises the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia, ASC and support from Navantia.

"The acceptance of this first of class ship is a further demonstration of the success of the government-led reform initiative, with the program meeting all budget and schedule targets, Hobart will enter into service later this year," Minister Pyne said.

"Hobart will play a critical role for Defence by providing new interoperable capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy.

"By using a combination of US and Australian technologies, these ships will allow us to work even closer with our allies."

Minister Pyne said the new ships will help ensure safer outcomes for the Australian Defence Force.

"Importantly, these ships will provide a safer environment for Australia’s entire Defence Force, as they have the ability to move faster for longer, whilst forming a protective bubble around themselves and other assets in a task force," said the minister.

Over 5,000 Australians have helped construct all three AWD's over the last decade, while also creating a new combat and support system to meet the unique needs of the ADF.

Minister Pyne said provisional acceptance represented some of the most complex and innovative engineering accomplishments ever undertaken in Australia.

"These skills have taken over a decade to build and position Australia well to support the government’s new Naval Shipbuilding Plan," he said.

"The AWD program underscores the importance of Australia’s defence industry as a fundamental input into capability.

"Rather than just being a supplier for Defence, this program proves how Australian defence industry is truly a strategic partner with Defence."

AWD Alliance general manager Paul Evans said the provisional acceptance is a testament to more than 5,000 Australian shipbuilders and systems integrators who have worked on the AWD program over the past decade.

"Ten years ago, the AWD Alliance was formed to undertake the complex task of designing, constructing, integrating and testing a new class of warships for Australia," said Evans.

"Along the way, we have created an entire workforce of highly skilled Australian shipbuilders, program managers and systems integrators."

Lockheed Martin Australia congratulated Defence for receiving its first Aegis-equipped ship.

The handover of Hobart to the Department of Defence marks a significant milestone for Australia, officially joining the Lockheed Martin global Aegis fleet alongside Japan, Spain, Norway, the Republic of Korea and the US.

"Lockheed Martin Australia is continuing to invest in growing Australia’s maritime workforce. We are proud of the superior warfighting capability of Aegis and stand ready to support the Commonwealth with future programs – such as Australia’s Future Frigates," said Vince Di Pietro, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Australia.

"I am personally proud to see this next milestone achieved in capability, having had the privilege of ceremonially bringing the system to life in Moorestown while the naval attaché based in Washington, DC."

The Aegis Weapon System is a centralised, automated, command-and-control weapons control system that was designed as a total combat management system from detection to engagement. The Aegis Weapons System enables multi-mission capability, network-centric warfare, co-operative engagement capability and growth to SM-6 and future capabilities.

South Australia's Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith congratulated those involved with the project, and used the opportunity to call on the federal government to commit to a minimum 90 per cent Australian industry participation figure for future naval shipbuilding programs.

"I congratulate everyone, especially the dedicated workers of the AWD Alliance, who have played a role in the completion of this first Air Warfare Destroyer, Hobart," said the minister.

"The success of the Air Warfare Destroyer program demonstrates South Australia’s ability to swiftly build a workforce and industry capable of successfully building complex warships.

"We have long supported Defence and our world-class defence industry, and we will continue to advocate for maximum Australian industry content for future programs.

"I again urge the Australian government to stand up for our industry and mandate 90 per cent Australian industry participation in future naval shipbuilding programs to stabilise the naval shipbuilding supply chain and increase industrial capability."

The Hobart Class destroyers are being built under Australia’s SEA 4000 program, which will see delivery of three advanced multi-mission ships by the end of 2019.

First AWD accepted by Defence
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