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Australia commissions final Hobart-class air warfare destroyer

HMAS Sydney
Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy has commissioned its third and final air warfare destroyer in what the service says was the first commissioning of an Australian warship at sea since the Second World War.

The ceremony, conducted off the coast of New South Wales, marked the moment the 147-meter long HMAS Sydney (V) became one of Her Majesty’s Australian Ships.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, and Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, were aboard the guided missile destroyer, to officially welcome Sydney into service.

Vice Admiral Noonan told the commissioning crew that Sydney’s history was of a legendary pedigree.

“You will all form part of the HMAS Sydney fabric. You are sailors and officers who will all continue the proud Sydney legacy.”

“Sydney was technically upgraded during her build to integrate the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ Seahawk submarine-hunting helicopter and her close-in weapons systems, making her Australia’s most lethal ship,” Vice Admiral Noonan added.

The destroyer was commissioned after starting sea trials in September 2019 and delivering to the navy in February this year.

Sydney is the last of three Hobart Class vessels built for Navy at Osborne in South Australia and is based on the Navantia F100 frigate design.

She is equipped with advanced combat systems, providing the ship with layered offensive and defensive capabilities to counter conventional and asymmetric threats.

Hobart-class destroyers 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.

Sydney will now undergo her test and evaluation period where she will integrate into the fleet and navy personnel will develop their proficiencies with her cutting-edge Aegis combat system.

Sydney’s sister ships, Hobart and Brisbane, commissioned in 2017 and 2018 respectively and all three vessels are homeported at Fleet Base East in Sydney.

The first Royal Australian Navy vessel to be commissioned at sea was HMAS Matafele. The World War II stores carrier was commissioned on 1 January 1943.