A provisional acceptance certificate signed last week between the Royal Australian Navy and the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance will pave the way for the delivery of the third and final Hobart-class destroyer – future HMAS Sydney.
The ship is scheduled to enter Sydney Harbour for the first time in late March 2020, with commissioning scheduled for early May 2020.
Sydney is being delivered to the Royal Australian Navy after it started sea trials in September 2019, and 13 years after Australia embarked on the AU$9 billion vessel acquisition program.
Hobart-class destroyers measure 140 meters in length and have a top speed of more than 28 knots, with a range of about 5000 nautical miles.
Based on the F100 design of warships already in service with the Spanish Navy, the AWDs are equipped with the Aegis weapon system incorporating the AN/ SPY 1D(V) phased array radar in combination with the SM-2 missile.
They are also fitted with Raytheon’s Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), which enables them to pool radar data from several ships in a task group, aircraft and ground-based units into a single integrated air picture. The only other service to make use of the system is the US Navy. The navies of France and India are currently developing and testing their own CEC systems.
Hobart-class are replacing the decommissioned Adelaide-class frigates and will provide air defense for accompanying ships in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and for self-protection against missiles and aircraft.
The AWDs will carry MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopters for surveillance and response to support key warfare areas.
Armament includes an Mk41 vertical launching system containing SM-2 Standard Missile and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, a Mk45 5-inch main gun, a Phalanx close-in weapons system, two 25mm Typhoon guns, and MU90 and Mk54 light-weight torpedoes for subsurface defense.