Video: Australia’s first AWD destroyer completes builder’s trials

HMAS Hobart, the first of three Royal Australian Navy Aegis destroyers has successfully completed sea trials off the coast of South Australia.

The builder’s sea trials, completed on the weekend, included testing the ship’s hull, propulsion and navigation systems.

HMAS Hobart was built at Techport, by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance. Construction of 12 Shortfin Barracuda submarines built by French shipbuilder DCNS for the Royal Australian Navy is also expected to take place there.

AWD Alliance general manager Lloyd Beckett said the second phase of advanced trials would take place early next year when the combat and communication systems of Hobart were ready for testing.

Hobart is more than 140 metres long, has a top speed of more than 28 knots, a range of about 5000 nautical miles and room for more than 200 crew members.

It carries a range of weapons, detection and electronic warfare systems onboard, which include an Aegis threat tracking system, SPQ Horizon Search Radar, 48 vertical launch missile cells, a 5″ gun for coastal operations and two quad launchers of anti-ship HARPOON weapon systems.

The AWDs will also be equipped with anti-surface, anti-submarine, and naval gunfire capabilities.

Hobart has surface launched torpedoes, a Phalanx short-range air and surface defence system, NULKA missile decoy system, front-mounted as well as towable sonar systems and a flight-deck suitable for a helicopter similar to an MH-60R Seahawk.

Over the coming months, further progress on the AWD Project will be demonstrated when the second destroyer HMAS Brisbane enters the water following its launch in December. Hull consolidation of the third destroyer, HMAS Sydney, is expected to take place in August 2017.

The Hobart-class destroyers are part of an $8 billion collaboration between ASC, Raytheon Australia and the Australian Department of Defence.

Raytheon Australia managing director Michael Ward said he looked forward to the continued success of the destroyers when the advanced combat systems were tested next year.

“Raytheon Australia is responsible for the design, delivery and integration of the AWD Combat System which comprises 10 major subsystems and more than 3500 major pieces of combat system equipment,” he said.

“This sophisticated combat system contributes to making AWD the most advanced and lethal warship ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy.”

The AWD Alliance is scheduled to deliver Hobart to the Department of Defence in June 2017 following the completion of further sea trials.