The Royal Australian Navy marked a major milestone on 15 December 2016 with the launch of HMAS Brisbane. This ship is the second of three ‘Hobart’ class destroyers being built for Australia by the AWD Alliance.
The AWD Alliance is a consortium involving Australia’s Defence Material Organisation, which oversees the country’s defence procurement, Raytheon and local shipbuilders ASC. Also involved in the ‘Hobart’ class initiative are BAE Systems and Navantia. HMAS Brisbane was launched at ASC’s yard in Adelaide, South Australia.
AWD Alliance general manager Lloyd Beckett said that the launch of Brisbane was further demonstration of significant progress on the ‘Hobart’ class project and: “a significant achievement and an exciting moment in the history of the (‘Hobart’ class) project.”
Three destroyers are being built at ASC’s Adelaide yard as part of the ‘Hobart’ class initiative, with the ship design based upon Navantia’s ‘Álvaro de Bazán’ class frigate used by the Armada Española (Spanish Navy).
The lead ship in the class, HMAS Hobart, was launched in May 2016, and is completing trials prior to her expected delivery to the navy in 2017. HMAS Brisbane will now be outfitted with its complete combat systems equipment prior to beginning sea trials. The ship is expected to be handed over to the navy in 2018. The third and final ship in the class, HMAS Sydney, will complete block consolidation and hull integration in 2017.