The Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance has achieved a significant milestone with the successful completion of builder sea trials for the first destroyer Hobart, following several days at sea off the coast of South Australia.
“This first phase of sea trials, conducted over several days in the local South Australian waters, marks the successful testing of the ship’s hull, propulsion and navigation systems,” AWD Alliance general manager Lloyd Beckett said in a statement. “A second phase of more advanced trials will take place in early 2017 when Hobart trials its combat and communications systems.”
Significant progress has been made on the project and the first destroyer to reach this milestone, the AWD Alliance stated, with the ship build having commenced in January 2010, hull consolidation in March 2014 and official launch (when the ship floats for the first time) in May 2015. Hobart is scheduled to be delivered in June 2017.
“The completion of Hobart’s builder sea trials is a significant step towards delivery of the first AWD to Defence, and the most capable warships ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy,” said AWD Alliance program manager Commodore Craig Bourke.
“The AWD Alliance team of shipbuilders and systems integrators can take great pride in attaining this major milestone of sending our first AWD to sea and successfully completing its platform trials.”
The second destroyer Brisbane is due to enter the water in December, and hull consolidation of the third destroyer Sydney is expected in August 2017.
“Moving forward, the highly skilled ASC workforce will continue to consolidate and outfit the remaining two destroyers Brisbane and Sydney, implementing lessons learnt from Hobart’s build along the way, and creating significant improvement in our nation’s shipbuilding capability,” said ASC Shipbuilding chief executive officer Mark Lamarre.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne stated that the completion of builder sea trials demonstrates the capacity of Australia’s sovereign defence industry to build and integrate ships for Australia’s specific needs.