The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) newest guided missile destroyer HMAS Hobart (DDG 39) has conducted weapons firing trials off the eastern coast of Australia.
HMAS Hobart achieved initial operational release (IOR) when she was commissioned into the Navy fleet on Sept. 23 last year. But the vessel has to undergo further trails to achieve initial operating capability (IOC) with the Navy and then proceed to operational deployment.
The Navy Operational Test and Evaluation (NOTE) trials is covering platform trials, integration of the MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopter and gunnery trials.
Hobart’s year-long workup period will culminate in U.S. Navy Combat System Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT, pronounced sea-squat) in the final quarter of 2018. These will include firings of the ship’s Standard SM-2 Block IIIA/B and Evolved SeaSparrow (ESSM) anti-air missiles over the U.S. Navy Test Range off San Diego.
The ship is due to arrive at her namesake city of Hobart, Tasmania for the first time on Feb. 10. The ship will be open to the public on Monday, Feb. 12 during her visit.
HMAS Hobart (DDG 39)
HMAS Hobart is lead ship of the Hobart-class of Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD) being built under the SEA 4000 program for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
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.
The Hobart-class destroyers 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 ships are based on Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate deployed by the Spanish Navy and is equipped with the Aegis Combat System (ACS) making them the first in the RAN to carry the system.
The destroyers are armed with BAE Mark 45 (Mod 4) 5-inch 62-calibre gun, RIM-66 Standard 2 surface-to-air missiles (SAM), RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM), Harpoon anti-ship missiles (AShM), Eurotorp MU90 torpedoes, Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) and M242 Bushmaster chain guns.
The destroyers will embark a single MH-60R Romeo Seahawk helicopter and two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB).
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.
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.