Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore – IHS Jane’s Navy International
The first-of-class AWD, Hobart, entered the water at ASC’s Osborne yard on 23 May 2015. Source: Australian Department of Defence
- Testing of the Aegis combat system has begun on Australia’s first-of-class air warfare destroyer
- The country is on track to receive its first Aegis-equipped ship by 2017
Lockheed Martin has begun system integration and testing of the Aegis combat system on board the first Hobart-class air warfare destroyer (AWD) on order for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the company announced on 30 March.
The integration and tests are being done to ensure that equipment and subsystems, including the SPY-1D (V) radar system and the MK 41 vertical launching system, are properly installed and functional, said Lockheed Martin in its statement. The RAN is receiving the company’s Aegis Baseline 8 configuration for its AWDs.
“This milestone is a significant step towards an increase in the Royal Australian Navy’s maritime security capabilities through the seamless integration of the Aegis combat system to defend against advanced air, surface, and subsurface threats,” said Commodore Craig Bourke, the programme manager for the AWD at the RAN, in the statement released by Lockheed Martin.
The AWDs are being built under Australia SEA 4000 programme to replace the country’s Adelaide-class guided-missile frigates (FFGs) with three guided-missile destroyers (DDGs), although the Hobart class has also been described as natural successors to the three retired Perth-class DDGs, the last of which was decommissioned in October 2001.
The first-of-class AWD, Hobart, was launched in May 2015 while the second hull, Brisbane , was laid down in February 2014. Keel for the final ship, Sydney , was laid down in November 2015.
According to IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships , the 6,300-tonne platform features a length of 146.7 m, an overall beam of 18.6 m, and a hull draught of 4.9 m. The DDG is powered by two General Electric LM2500 gas turbine engines and has a top speed of 28 kt with a standard range of 5,000 n miles at 18 kt.