The third and final Project SEA 4000 Air Warfare Destroyer, NUSHIP Sydney was launched on May 19 at a ceremony at the Osborne shipyard in Adelaide.
The vessel will join NUSHIP Brisbane (which was launched last year) for sea trials, while lead vessel HMAS Hobart was commissioned late last year and is conducting workups.
AWD Program Manager CDRE Craig Bourke congratulated the workforce on the milestone. “Over the past ten years, we have seen more than 5,000 people and 1,500 suppliers contribute millions of hours of effort to the AWD program – the most complex defence project ever undertaken in Australia.”
“The complexity of this project is reflected in the sophistication of the AWDs – these warships will provide a true step-change in capability for the Australian Defence Force,” he added. “As the most potent warships Australia has ever possessed, all three destroyers feature an advanced anti-submarine warfare capability, state-of-the-art radar technology and an air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at an extended range.”
AWD Alliance General Manager Paul Evans added, “The AWD program is a further demonstration of the important role that industry plays as a fundamental input into capability for Defence.
“This sovereign shipbuilding and combat systems integration industry that has been built through the AWD program has helped us exceed our Australian Industry Capability targets by almost 20 per cent.”
Lead systems integrator, Raytheon Australia Managing Director Michael Ward welcomed the launch of Sydney. “As Australia’s largest and most capable combat systems integrator, Raytheon Australia has a highly skilled South Australian workforce, which includes more than 350 combat system integrators, engineers and program managers working as part of the AWD Alliance team currently delivering Australia’s most lethal and sophisticated warships.”
Minister for Defence Industry Hon Christopher Pyne said the launch was an example of the strength of the shipbuilding and systems integration skills which have been developed by the AWD Program. “Today we celebrate the highly skilled workers from ASC, Raytheon Australia, Navantia Australia and Defence.
“It’s difficult to imagine just ten years ago, this shipyard at Osborne was a brownfield site with no infrastructure. “Since then more than 5,000 people have worked directly on the AWD Program to build and integrate three of the most capable and potent warships the Navy has ever possessed.”
Meanwhile, the intellectual property for the Hobart class has transferred to Navantia Australia, meaning Australia has sovereign control over the AWD capability.