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Sea Platforms

Australia’s third air warfare destroyer completes sea trials

11 November 2019
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Australia's third air warfare destroyer, Sydney. Source: Commonwealth of Australia

Key Points

  • Australia's third air warfare destroyer has concluded its sea trials
  • The vessel will be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in February 2020

The third Hobart-class air warfare destroyer (AWD) on order for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has completed its sea trials, the country's defence minister, Linda Reynolds, announced on 9 November.

The vessel, which will be in service as HMAS Sydney once commissioned, is the final AWD ordered for the RAN. It was laid down in November 2015, and launched at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide in May 2018.

The first phase of Sydney's sea trials was announced in September 2019, and the vessel began a more advanced phase of these tests, which validated its combat and communication systems, in the following month.

The first AWD, HMAS Hobart, was commissioned in September 2017, while the second-of-class, HMAS Brisbane , was inducted into service in October 2018.

The AWD derives its design from the Spanish Navy's (Armada Española's) Alvaro de Bazan (F-100)-class frigate. It displaces 6,350 tonnes at full load, and has an overall length of 146.7 m, an overall beam of 18.6 m, and a hull draught of 4.9 m.

The warship is equipped with the Aegis combat system incorporating the AN/SPY 1D(V) phased array radar, and is armed with the 48-cell MK 41 strike-length vertical launch system (VLS) that can launch Standard Missile-2 medium-range Block IIIA (SM-2MR Block IIIA) and SM-2MR Block IIIB long-range surface-to-air missiles, and the medium-range RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSMs) Block I.

The destroyer is also equipped with a 127 mm naval gun in the primary position, the Phalanx Block 1B 20 mm close-in weapon system (CIWS), two Orbital ATK M242 25 mm Bushmaster automatic cannons in Rafael Typhoon stabilised and remotely operated mounts, and launchers for the RGM-84 Harpoon Block II anti-ship/land attack missiles.

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