Shipbuilder BAE Systems has been awarded a five year, $70 million contract to maintain the Australian Navy’s new air warfare destroyers.
The announcement was made Friday by the Australian minister for defence industry Christopher Pyne.
The contract will see BAE Systems manage the delivery of support as the ships transition out of the build phase and into service with the Royal Australian Navy.
The three Hobart Class Destroyers will be based at Garden Island, NSW. HMAS Hobart, the first of three Aegis destroyers completed sea trials off the coast of South Australia in September this year and is scheduled to be delivered to the navy in June 2017.
Minister Pyne said BAE Systems Australia will work with Defence to engage other Australian-based companies to provide maintenance and support for the Air Warfare Destroyers as they enter service in the coming years.
BAE Systems chief executive, Glynn Phillips, said: “This is a new opportunity that allows us to develop from the ground up a leading edge sustainment model for the entire service life of these new ships. This will add significant depth to our national maritime sustainment business and it also helps contribute to a stronger and more sustainable Australian based defence capability.”
Hobart-class destroyers are more than 140 metres long, have a top speed of more than 28 knots, a range of about 5000 nautical miles and room for more than 200 crew members.
They carry 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 ships have 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.