Australian Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann and Minister for Defence Hon David Johnston announced today that they stand firm behind their coalition, adding that they are committed to the efficient delivery of the country’s Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) programme.
“Since coming into Government, I have received detailed briefings from key stakeholders associated with the Air Warfare Destroyer program. There are clearly issues associated with this important program. This is part of the legacy of unresolved issues which we have inherited from Labor. Together with the Minister for Defence we are working to resolve these issues,” said Minister Cormann.
“We are committed to establishing an independent review into the Air Warfare Destroyer program. We will provide further details of this review when we finalise the terms of reference in early 2014,” he added.
The AWDs are being built for Australia’s specific defence needs and will provide a significant increase in Australia’s defence capabilities. Australia’s new Air Warfare Destroyers will be named HMAS Hobart, HMAS Brisbane and HMAS Sydney and they incorporate Aegis Weapon System in combination with the SM-2 missile, thus being able to provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometres.
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.
Hull consolidation for the first of three Air Warfare Destroyers is nearing completion and the destroyer’s main radar tower was successfully lifted into position.
Naval Today Staff, December 18, 2013; Image: Australian MoD