A significant capability upgrade to the Hobart-class destroyers will allow NUSHIP Sydney to enter into operation one year ahead of current* schedule.
Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said Defence was able to streamline a technical upgrade to the third ship of the Hobart-class air-warfare destroyer during its build at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia and fast-track its operational schedule.
“Structural modifications to accommodate the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopter into the Hobart-class were planned to be completed after operational acceptance trials, but an opportunity was identified to bring the aviation upgrade forward,” Minister Pyne said.
“The upgrade to the ship’s infrastructure to support the Romeo, the Royal Australian Navy’s next generation maritime combat helicopter, will make it Australia’s most advanced warship.”
Minister for Defence Industry Linda Reynolds said carrying out the aviation upgrade during the ship’s build presents significant value for money – though she did not put a dollar value on it.
“The opportunity for the AWD Alliance to complete the work while the ship is still in-build is testament to the skill and efficiency of the 400-strong shipbuilding workforce at Osborne,” Minister Reynolds said.
“It will deliver operational capability to the Royal Australian Navy 12 months ahead of [current*] schedule.”
* The Hobart-class DDGs are currently about three years behind their original schedule, and more than $1billion over budget. However, the project was removed from the government’s Projects of Concern List in February last year.
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