The future HMAS Hobart, the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) first of three ‘Hobart’ class, has left the naval shipbuilding company ASC’s shipyard in Osborne, Australia, and successfully accomplished builder’s sea trials off the coast of South Australia.
The sea trials began on 12 September and took place in the Great Australian Bight, off Adelaide. The exercise lasted over several days and was conducted by the AWD Alliance, which consists of the government-owned shipbuilder ASC, combat systems integrator and contractor Raytheon and the Australian Department of Defence’s (DoD’s) Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), as well as key equipment suppliers.
Following the trials, the AWD Alliance programme manager, Commodore Craig Bourke told the media: “the completion of (the ‘Hobart’ class’) Builder Sea Trials is a significant step towards delivery of the first (ship) … and the most capable warships ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy … the AWD Alliance team of shipbuilders and systems integrators can take great pride in attaining this major milestone of sending our first (‘Hobart’ class destroyer) to sea and successfully completing its platform trials.”
The ‘Hobart’ class design has a comprehensive weapons fit, and will carry modern sonar, decoys and torpedoes, with a deck capable of carrying a Sikorsky MH-60R naval support helicopter. The RAN’s new destroyers will provide air defence for ships, land forces and infrastructure located in coastal areas. HMAS Hobart, the first in the class, was first launched in May 2015. The second-in-class HMAS Brisbane was schedule for launch in December 2016, while hull consolidation of the third and final ship in the class, HMAS Sydney, is scheduled for August of 2017. HMAS Hobart is scheduled for a second phase of more advanced trials early next year, during which its combat and communications systems will be tested. Delivery of the vessel to the Royal Australian Navy is scheduled for June 2017. For more information regarding the PN’s acquisition of new frigates, please see Dr. Alix Valenti’s Frigates or Destroyers? article.