The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) newest Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), HMAS Hobart (DDG 39) will be visiting her namesake city of Hobart, Tasmania for the first time on Feb. 10, 2018.
The ship is the third in the Navy to bear the Hobart name. The first was commissioned in 1938 and served in World War II. Hobart II was commissioned in 1965 and served in the Vietnam War. It was decommissioned in 2000.
HMAS Hobart is lead ship of the Hobart-class of Air Warfare Destroyers being built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The second ship of the class, the future HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41) will be delivered to the Navy mid this year, and will be followed in quick succession by the delivery of the third and final destroyer, the future HMAS Sydney (DDG 42), in 2019.
The Hobart-class destroyers are being built under Australia’s SEA 4000 program, which will replace the Adelaide-class frigates and restore the capability last exhibited by the Perth-class destroyers.
They are being built by the AWD Alliance, composed of the Australian Department of Defense, Raytheon Australia, and ASC with Navantia in a supporting role, at ASC’s shipyard in Osborne, South Australia.
The total cost of the program will be over $8 billion, making it the most expensive weapons program ever for Australia.
The ships are based on Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate deployed by the Spanish Navy. It is equipped with the Aegis Combat System (ACS), which integrates with the long-range AN/SPY1 passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar to detect, track, and engage aerial targets. The new destroyer is the first in the RAN to carry the Aegis system.
The destroyers have the Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) capable of firing RIM-66 Standard 2 surface-to-air missiles (SAM) or quad-packed RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM) for air defense role and torpedoes for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations.
The missiles are supplemented by 2 x 4 Harpoon anti-ship missiles (AShM) in canister launchers and a BAE Mark 45 (Mod 4) 5-inch 62-calibre gun with a range of 23.6 km (14.7 mi).
Two Babcock Mark 32 Mod 9 two-tube torpedo launchers are used to launch Eurotorp MU90 torpedoes for ASW missions. For close-in defense, the ships will carry one aft-facing Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) and two M242 Bushmasters in bridge wing Typhoon mounts.
The destroyers will carry a single MH-60R Romeo Seahawk helicopter. Two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) are also carried.
The standard ship’s company is 186-strong, plus 16 additional personnel to operate and maintain the ship’s helicopter, with maximum accommodation for 234.