Australia’s first air warfare destroyer heads for commissioning site

AWD Hobart on sea trials in the Gulf St Vincent off the coast of Adelaide South Australia. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Some two months after being officially delivered to the Australian defense ministry in Adelaide, Royal Australian Navy’s first air warfare destroyer Hobart has set sail for its commissioning site in Sydney.

According to The Advertiser, the future HMAS Hobart is set to be commissioned in a ceremony in Sydney on September 23.

NUSHIP Hobart (as the destroyer will receive the “Her Majesty’s Australian Ship” designation only after it has been commissioned) was delivered to the government after completing trials in March this year.

Work on Hobart kicked off in January 2010 with its hull consolidation in March 2014, official launch in May 2015 and builder’s sea trials in September 2016.

Its sea acceptance trials involved close interactions with a range of fighter aircraft, surface ships and helicopters, as well as other civilian platforms in a range of simulated scenarios.

Hobart is 146.7 metres long, has a top speed of 28 knots (52km/h), a range of about 5000 nautical miles and room for more than 200 crew.

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 have also been equipped with anti-surface, anti-submarine and naval gunfire capabilities.

The next-gen destroyers are part of an $8 billion collaboration between ASC, Raytheon Australia and the Australian Department of Defence. The ships are being built at Techport Australia, about 15km northwest of Adelaide.

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