Today, the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance achieved a major milestone with the successful completion of Builder Sea Trials for the first destroyer Hobart following several days at sea off the coast of South Australia.
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AWD Alliance general manager Lloyd Beckett said that sea trials was the commencement of an exciting new phase for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) project.
“This first phase of sea trials, conducted over four days in the local South Australian waters, marks the successful testing of the ship’s hull, propulsion and navigation systems. A second phase of more advanced trials will take place in early 2017 when Hobart trials its combat and communications systems,” he said.
The successful completion of Hobart’s Builder Sea Trials represents a decade of dedication and effort by the AWD workforce on one of the most complex shipbuilding projects in Australia’s history.
“It’s the culmination of years of design and procurement, construction and outfitting, system testing, training and equipment activation. It gives me an enormous sense of pride in seeing our hard work culminate in a successful trial period at sea,” said Beckett.
Significant progress has been made on the AWD project and destroyer Hobart to reach this milestone, with the ship build commencing in January 2010, hull consolidation in March 2014, and official launch - when the ship floats for the first time - in May 2015.
AWD Alliance Program Manager, Commodore Craig Bourke also expressed his satisfaction, “The completion of Hobart’s Builder Sea Trials is a significant step towards delivery of the first AWD to Defence and the most capable warships ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy.
“The AWD Alliance team of shipbuilders and systems integrators can take great pride in attaining this major milestone of sending our first AWD to sea and successfully completing its platform trials.”
Over the coming months, further progress on the AWD Project will be demonstrated when the second destroyer Brisbane enters the water following its launch in December 2016, as well as hull consolidation of the third destroyer, Sydney, in August 2017.
The AWD Alliance, consisting of shipbuilder ASC, combat systems integrator Raytheon Australia and the government’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, offered their congratulations for the successful completion of Builder Sea Trials on the ships return to Techport.
“Today is a day when everyone who works in Australia’s highly skilled and professional naval shipbuilding industry can stand tall and be immensely proud. Sea Trials is a visible demonstration of our success as a shipbuilding team,” said ASC Shipbuilding CEO Mark Lamarre.
“Moving forward, the highly skilled ASC workforce will continue to consolidate and outfit the remaining two destroyers, Brisbane and Sydney, implementing lessons learnt from Hobart’s build along the way, and creating significant improvement in our nation’s shipbuilding capability.”
Raytheon Australia managing director, Michael Ward, also acknowledged the successful completion of Hobart’s first phase of sea trials.
As the combat systems integrator for the AWD project, Raytheon Australia has applied its highly skilled Australian workforce of architects, systems engineers and project managers to the AWD project over the last decade.
“Raytheon Australia is responsible for the design, delivery and integration of the AWD Combat System, which comprises ten major subsystems, and more than 3,500 major pieces of combat system equipment. This sophisticated combat system contributes to make AWD the most advanced and lethal warship ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy,” Ward said.
“We look forward to Hobart’s continued success on sea trials next year when the AWD’s advanced combat system is tested.”
Following completion of further sea trials in early 2017, the AWD Alliance is scheduled to deliver Hobart to the Department of Defence in June 2017.