Nearly 6,000 people have gathered at the Techport Australia maritime industrial precinct in Adelaide to celebrate the launch of Hobart, the first ship built under the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program.
The launch ceremony saw the destroyer lowered into the water from the South Australian government’s common-user shiplift, marking the transition of the first of three warships for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from the hardstand.
“As shipbuilders and systems integrators, we are undertaking one of the most complex projects of its type in Australia’s history,” stated AWD Alliance chief executive officer Rod Equid. “It is hard to believe that the AWD shipyard was opened just five years ago, following considerable investment by state and federal governments, and ASC.”
According to the AWD Alliance, progress will accelerate in coming months as the second ship, Brisbane, takes the place of Hobart on the hardstand to undergo final block consolidation, and the keel is laid for the third ship, Sydney.
“Many members of the RAN’s future crew are already here, working at Osborne, contributing expertise for the launch and the next phase of the program,” said AWD program manager Peter Croser. “We look forward to setting to work Hobart and proving her capabilities at sea in the coming two-year period, whilst maintaining a focus on the construction of the next two DDGs.”
ASC Shipbuilding chief executive officer Mark Lamarre said the launch was a momentous occasion. “The highly skilled workforce at ASC have consolidated and outfitted a ship; they are learning and improving every day, contributing to the nation’s shipbuilding capability,” he said.