Today marks a significant milestone for the first Air Warfare Destroyer, Hobart, as acceptance trials commence off the South Australian coast.
Hobart departs Adelaide today to undertake testing of combat, communications and other systems.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said this set of trials – known as sea acceptance trials – represented the beginnings of the formal ship acceptance process in the lead up to delivery later this year.
“These trials are conducted to prove that systems can perform the expected functions they were designed for, in the environment in which they’ll be required to function,” Mr Pyne said.
“In the maritime domain, sea trials are similar to new model cars being tested on the proving grounds, and allow the detection of any issues before the ship is accepted by the Royal Australian Navy.
“I congratulate the AWD Alliance – ASC, Raytheon Australia and the Department of Defence, and ship-build manager Navantia – on this important milestone and their continued progress toward delivering the most capable warships ever to be operated by the Royal Australian Navy.”
The second destroyer, Brisbane, was launched late last year and work continues to progress on her and the third destroyer, Sydney.
Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers – which we note Navy is now calling Guided Missile Destroyers (DDG) – are based on Spanish shipbuilder Navantia’s F100 frigate, coupled with the American Aegis Combat System.
Hobart-class will provide air defence for accompanying ships in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and for self-protection against missiles and aircraft.
The Aegis Combat System, incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar AN/SPY 1D(V), in combination with the SM-2 missile, will provide an advanced air-defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150km.
Each ship will also carry one new MH-60R ‘Romeo’ Seahawk submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare helicopter.
Ship armaments are
- 48-cell Mark 41 Vertical Launch System
- RIM-66 Standard 2 missile
- RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile
- 2 × 4-canister Harpoon missile launchers
- 1 × Mark 45 (Mod 4) 5-inch gun
- 2 × Mark 32 Mod 9 two-tube torpedo launchers with MU90 torpedoes
- 1 × Phalanx Close In Weapon System
- 2 × 25mm M242 Bushmaster autocannons
Hobart class will also be equipped with modern sonar systems and decoys, as well as the torpedoes, for submarine detection and attack.
The AWD project is currently 2.5 years behind schedule and $1.2billion over budget. .