The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) commissioned the second Hobart-class air warfare destroyer, HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41), into its fleet during a ceremony at the Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney on Oct. 27.
Before an audience of dignitaries, family and friends, the Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, AM, RAN, welcomed Brisbane to the fleet.
During the ceremony the Governor-General of Australia, inspected the Brisbane’s crew and HMAS Brisbane received a blessing. The Australian White Ensign was hoisted signifying completion of the commissioning. The crew marched onboard for the first time, where they cheered ship, as a mark of honour.
Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, and Christopher Pyne, the Minister for Defence, attended the ceremony, and noted the importance of the occasion for both Australia’s national security and domestic shipbuilding capability. The commissioning marks a major milestone in the life of the ship, and the Government’s multi-decade commitment to enhance the Navy’s capabilities to protect our maritime interests.
The second of three Hobart class guided missile destroyers, Brisbane is the third ship to carry the name. Her motto, ‘Aim At Higher Things’, encompasses Navy’s core objectives of being a fighting Navy and a thinking Navy.
“My crew and I are honoured to continue the name and proud history of Brisbane in the Royal Australian Navy and excited to be given the opportunity to realise the incredible capability she represents,” said Commander Josh Wilson, Brisbane’s Commanding Officer.
Brisbane will now undergo her test and evaluation period where she will integrate into the fleet and Navy personnel will train to operate the warship.
Brisbane was delivered to the Australian Department of Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) during an official ceremony at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, South Australia in July this year after completing her second phase of sea trials off the coast of South Australia in April.
Once in operation, Brisbane will provide air defence for accompanying ships, in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and for self-protection against missiles and aircraft.
The Hobart Class destroyers are being built and integrated by the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance, under Australia’s SEA 4000 program to replace Royal Australian Navy’s Adelaide-class frigates and restore the capability last exhibited by the Perth-class destroyers.
The total cost of the program will be over $8 billion, making it the most expensive weapons program ever for Australia.
AWD Alliance is comprised of the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia and ASC Shipbuilding with support from Navantia Australia, at ASC’s shipyard in Osborne, South Australia.
The first ship of the class, HMAS Hobart (DDG 39) was commissioned into the Navy fleet on Sept. 23 last year. AWD Alliance will deliver the third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, the future HMAS Sydney (DDG 42), in 2019.
The ships are based on Álvaro de Bazán-class frigates operated by the Spanish Navy. It is equipped with the Aegis Combat System (ACS), which integrates with the long-range AN/SPY-1 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 Launching System (Mk 41 VLS) capable of firing RIM-66 Standard 2 (SM-2) surface-to-air missiles (SAM) or quad-packed RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) for air defense role. The missiles are supplemented by two quad-packed Harpoon anti-ship missiles (AShM) in canister launchers and a BAE Mark 45 (Mod 4) 5-inch 62-calibre main gun, having an operational 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 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. For close-in defense, the ships carry one aft-facing Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) and two M242 Bushmasters in bridge wing Typhoon mounts.
The destroyers embark 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.