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Australia’s final air warfare destroyer arrives at its home port

HMAS Sydney
AWD Sydney prepares to berth at Fleet Base East in Sydney for the first time on March 27. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Future HMAS Sydney, the Royal Australian Navy’s final air warfare destroyer, arrived at its homeport at Garden Island on March 27.

The ship entered Sydney for the first time after it was delivered by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance in February this year.

“Today marks another milestone in defense capability, with Sydney being the most potent and capable warship Australia has ever built,” Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds said.

“The Hobart-class destroyers are the first Australian warships equipped with the US Aegis combat management system, and will allow us to work closer with our allies than ever before.”

The 147-meter warship sailed from Osborne, South Australia, where she was built by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance. During the transit at Garden Island, Sydney will conduct a number of acceptance trials coordinated by Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance personnel.

In addition to the Aegis CMS, the new destroyers feature 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.

Hobart-class destroyers are based on Navantia’s F100 design of warships already in service with the Spanish Navy. They 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.