Australia launches its third and final Air Warfare Destroyer


Australia has launched its third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, HMAS Sydney, at ASC’s Adelaide shipyard on Sunday.

Built under an Alliance contract arrangement between the Commonwealth of Australia, ASC and Raytheon Australia, the Sydney will now undergo further outfitting and sea trials before entering service in late 2019.

Speaking at the official launch ceremony, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne congratulated the workforce on achieving this significant milestone.

“Today we celebrate the highly skilled workers from ASC, Raytheon Australia, Navantia Australia and Defence,” Minister Pyne added.

“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.”

“This is underpinned by the 1,500 suppliers who have supported the AWD Alliance in its efforts to exceed Australian Industry Capability targets for the overall Program.”

The Sydney has been delivered with a 60% productivity improvement from the HMAS Hobart, which was commissioned in September last year. The second destroyer, HMAS Brisbane, was launched in 2016 and is expected to be delivered to the navy in the coming months.

AWD Program Manager Commodore (CDRE) Craig Bourke said the three warships will provide ‘a true step-change in capability’ for the Australian Defence Force.

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,” Mr Bourke added.

Raytheon Australia Managing Director Michael Ward said the company had worked closely with the Commonwealth to architect, design, test and integrate Australia’s most advanced and complex combat system on time and on budget.

“The AWD combat system integration activities represent some of the most advanced and complex engineering and project management skills in this country,” Mr Ward continued.

“Today’s milestone is a credit to the AWD workforce and is a reflection of our long-term investment to build a local combat system integration capability. The success of the combat system integration activity is a source of tremendous pride for Raytheon Australia.”

“Not only have we performed admirably on this project but we have built for Australia a national asset in combat system integration.”

Image credit: ASC Facebook page