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Project updates

Air Warfare Destroyer: Project Update Quarter ONE, 2018


This year follows on from a busy 2017, with a number of significant program milestones achieved, including the delivery of the first air warfare destroyer HMAS Hobart to the Commonwealth in June and the Royal Australian Navy's commissioning event in September.  A number of other project milestones for the second destroyer Brisbane and third destroyer to be named Sydney were also achieved as the Alliance continues to implement lessons learned from ship to ship.
Brisbane BST-07

Ship Milestones

HMAS Hobart

  • Following the delivery of the first air warfare destroyer HMAS Hobart to the Commonwealth in June 2017, the Royal Australian Navy hosted a commissioning event at Garden Island, Sydney in September.
  • In November 2017, after a week at sea testing their skills and experience, the ship’s company of HMAS Hobart successfully passed their mariner skills evaluation.
  • In 2018, HMAS Hobart will prepare for US Navy Combat System Sea Certification (CSSC) trials. Successful conclusion of these trials, which include live firings off the coast of San Diego in the United States, will enable the Chief of Navy to declare HMAS Hobart as operationally ready by the end of 2018.
  • Already this year, the Royal Australian Navy successfully completed the first Replenishment At Sea (RAS) and assessed the ship’s Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) – testing the 20mm CIWS against an inflatable surface target which marked the first time an Australian warship has fired a CIWS capable of striking air and surface targets. The five-inch main gun was tested against a towed target from varying distances and directions, and two practice delivery torpedoes were fired from the port and starboard tubes, with both torpedoes recovered for analysis by the Navy’s Surface Forces branch. The Surface Forces branch will prepare a trial report of observations and recommendations, including changes to procedure or potential physical changes to the ship itself. 
  • HMAS Hobart also completed a number of other evolutions, including officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres. HMAS Hobart’s crew not only successfully connected lines between both ships, but also transferred a test weight to ensure that it could transfer items with other ships in the future.


  • On Saturday 24 March 2018, our second air warfare destroyer, Brisbane, commenced the next phase of sea trials in Adelaide, which will run over a number of weeks. This set of trials – known as sea acceptance trials – includes testing of combat, communications and additional platform systems, and represents the beginning of the formal ship acceptance process in the lead up to delivery later this year.
  • The second air warfare destroyer, Brisbane, successfully completed the first phase of builder’s sea trials in November last year, which included testing the ship’s propulsion, manoeuvring, control and navigation systems.
  • Brisbane’s compartment tradework is now complete and final painting is nearing completion. The ship’s compartment certification acceptance activities are now well underway. 
  •  Brisbane will be delivered to the Commonwealth in the middle of this year, with commissioning by the Royal Australian Navy scheduled for later this year. 


Ship 03 (to be named Sydney)

  • Ship 03 will be launched in May at more than 75 per cent complete, marking the productivity improvements and lessons learned that have been transferred from ship to ship throughout the AWD program.  
  • The four SPY-1D(V) Phased Array Radars have been successfully loaded out.  SPY-1D(V) is easily identifiable by the four octagonal shaped array faces above the bridge. This multi-function, three dimensional passive phased array radar system performs simultaneous search, detection and track of over 100 targets at more than 100 nautical miles, as well as missile guidance functions.
  • Significant progress has been made in the lead up to Ship 03’s transition into the water, including a number of key installations such as the port and starboard shaft lines. 

Combat System

  • The loadout of Ship 03’s Combat System Equipment Room N2 and C2 Network Room has been successfully completed.
  • The installation of the Mk 45 Gun mount on Ship 03 has been successfully completed. 
  • With effective collaboration across the Alliance, Ship 03’s compartment loadouts have been successfully completed.
  • The installation of sonar equipment, including the sonar dome, is now complete.

General News

  • On 1 February 2018, Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP and Minister for Defence, Senator The Hon Marise Payne announced that the Air Warfare Destroyer program had been removed from the Projects of Concern list. This reflects the successful turn-around of the AWD program following the implementation of the Government’s reform program, which has resulted in the Alliance meeting all milestone targets on time and to budget. 
  • To celebrate the 5,000 people and millions of hours worked on the AWD program over the past 10 years, the AWD Alliance’s ‘A Decade of Australian Shipbuilding & Integration’ campaign was launched in November comprising a series of video vignettes and stories showcasing the workforce behind the defence force.
To read past Project Updates, click here.


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