Royal Australian Navy receives first Hobart-class air warfare destroyer

Royal Australian Navy (RAN) received its first Hobart-class air warfare destroyer (AWD) in a ceremony at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.

The warship has already completed its sea trials and is expected to be commissioned by the RAN next year. The class is being built by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance composed of the Australian Department of Defense, Raytheon Australia, and ASC with Navantia in a supporting role.

The Hobart Class destroyers are being built under Australia’s SEA 4000 program, which will ultimately deliver three advanced multi-mission ships by the end of 2019.

They are based on Álvaro de Bazán class frigate deployed by the Spanish navy. It is equipped with the Aegis Combat System, which integrates with the long-range AN/SPY1 PESA radar to detect, track, and engage aerial targets. The new destroyer is the first in the RAN to carry the Aegis system.

The Hobart-class will have the Mk 41 Vertical Launch System capable of firing RIM-66 Standard 2 surface-to-air missiles and RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile and torpedoes for anti-submarine operations. The missiles are supplemented by 2 x 4 Harpoon anti-ship missiles 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 will be used to launch Eurotorp MU90 torpedoes for Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions. For close-in defense, the ships will carry one aft-facing Phalanx CIWS system and two M242 Bushmasters in bridge wing Typhoon mounts.

The destroyers will initially carry a single S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter and will be replaced by MH-60 Romeo version once it enters RAN service. Two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) are also carried.

The total cost of the program will be over $8 billion, making it the most expensive weapons program ever for Australia.

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