Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance has taken delivery of the first blocks from Melbourne for the second air warfare destroyer, Brisbane.
Mr Clare said the two blocks, manufactured by BAE Systems, arrived into Adelaide by tug and barge from Williamstown, Victoria.
“The blocks will be located in the front third of the ship and once consolidated will house the 48 cell MK 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS),” Mr Clare said.
“The VLS can store and then fire SM-2 or Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles in quick succession and is an important element of the combat system that will be installed into the Hobart Class destroyers.”
The three guided-missile destroyers are being constructed using a modular method where blocks are manufactured across four shipyards and consolidated at the South Australian Government’s Common User Facility at Techport Australia.
Consolidation of the first destroyer Hobart is expected to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in early 2016. Consolidation of second ship Brisbane is due to start in early 2014. Fabrication has begun on the blocks for the third destroyer Sydney.
“BAE has significantly improved the quality of their manufacturing performance and delivered blocks that are virtually defect free,” Mr Clare said.
“This is testament to the hard work and skill of the team at BAE’s shipyard in Williamstown.”
The AWD is based on a proven Navantia design used by the Spanish Navy and when complete will be one of the most capable warships of its size in the world.
The ships will be equipped with the Aegis Weapon System, making them capable of assuming a leading command and control role within the Australian Defence Force as well as coalition forces.
The AWD project is being delivered by the AWD Alliance. The AWD Alliance is made up of the Defence Materiel Organisation, ASC and Raytheon Australia.
BAE are currently constructing 11 blocks for the AWD project, including seven blocks for the first destroyer and two for the second.
The AWD project directly employs more than 2500 people, with 200 employed by BAE in Melbourne.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/12132458