The Commonwealth of Australia officially accepted the first Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) – NUSHIP Hobart – at a a ceremony at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide on 16 June.
CAPTION: NUSHIP Hobart conducts sea trials in the Gulf St Vincent off the South Australian coast. Photo by Corporal Craig Barrett.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said Hobart was the first of three AWD’s being built and integrated by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance which comprises the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia and ASC, with support from Navantia.
Hobart will be formally Christened and enter into service with the Royal Australian Navy later this year.
“Hobart will play a critical role for Defence by providing new interoperable capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy,” Minister Pyne said.
“By using a combination of US and Australian technologies, these [Spanish-designed] ships will allow us to work even closer with our allies.
“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.”
Minister Pyne said provisional acceptance of Hobart 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.”
Over the past decade, more than 5000 skilled Australians have been employed in the construction of all three AWDs, though several hundred of them are now set to lose their jobs in the slump before the next big project.
+ + +