Australian Navy’s first Aegis destroyer starts builder’s sea trials

Photo: AWD Alliance
Photo: AWD Alliance

HMAS Hobart, the first of three Royal Australian Navy Aegis-equipped air warfare destroyers, has started builder’s sea trials leaving ASC’s Osborne, South Australia shipyard for the first time.

A number of alongside dock trials in preparation for Hobart’s first departure to sea were carried out, including incline trials to measure the ship’s stability and vertical centre of gravity. Main battery alignment ensured elements of the combat systems are correctly positioned and aligned while bollard trials tested the ship’s propulsion system.

Prior to these trials, Hobart’s main engines and gas turbines were activated on-board in April and July respectively as well as a number of key combat systems including the vertical launch system, the Australian tactical interface, the Aegis combat system and the SPY1D-V phased array radar, plus various navigation and communication systems.

Based on Navantia’s F100 design, the air warfare destroyers will provide air defense for accompanying ships as well as land forces and infrastructure on nearby coastal areas. The Aegis weapon system incorporating the phased array radar, AN/ SPY 1D(V), in combination with the SM-2 missile, will provide an air defense system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometers.

The AWDs will also carry a MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ naval combat helicopter for surveillance and response to support key warfare areas. The surface warfare function will include long range anti-ship missiles and a naval gun capable of firing extended range munitions in support of land forces. The AWDs will also be able to conduct undersea warfare and will be equipped with modern sonar systems, decoys and surface-launched torpedoes.

First in class Hobart was launched in May 2015 while ship 2, HMAS Brisbane is scheduled to be launched in December this year. The third and final ship in the class was 57% complete as of August 2016, according to the AWD Alliance.