Australia has launched the third and final Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) on order for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Named Sydney (with pennant number 42), the 146.7 m-long ship entered the water on 19 May in a ceremony presided over by Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.
The ship, which was laid down in November 2015, is set to be handed over to the RAN in December 2019 following sea trials. First-of-class HMAS Hobart was commissioned in September 2017 and is expected to be fully operational later this year, while the second AWD, Brisbane , is undergoing sea trials, with delivery to the RAN scheduled for September 2018.
The RAN’s Adelaide-class (US Oliver Hazard Perry design) frigates, of which only two remain in service, are being retired to make way for the Hobart-class AWDs, which provide the service with an improved war fighting capability.
Based on Navantia’s F-100 Alvaro de Bazan-class frigate design (with a number of Australian-specific modifications), the Hobart class deploys the Aegis combat system incorporating the AN/SPY 1D(V) phased array radar.
In RAN service the 48-cell MK 41 strike-length vertical launch system accommodates Standard Missile-2 medium-range Block IIIA (SM-2MR Block IIIA) and SM-2MR Block IIIB long-range surface-to-air missiles, as well as quad-packed medium-range RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSMs) Block I.
The Hobart class, which has a full-load displacement of 6,350 tonnes, is also equipped with two four-canister RGM-84 Harpoon Block II anti-ship/land attack missile launchers, a MK 45 MOD 4 62-calibre 5-inch (127 mm) gun, an aft-facing Phalanx Block 1B 20 mm close-in weapon system, two Orbital ATK M242 25 mm Bushmaster automatic cannons in Rafael Typhoon stabilised and remotely operated mounts, and two MK 32 MOD 9 twin-tube launchers for the Eurotorp MU90 lightweight anti-submarine torpedo.
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