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Final next generation Australian warship to be launched

Defence

Australia’s third and final next generation warship will be launched on Saturday, bringing the most complex defence project in the nation’s history a step closer to completion.

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The Air Warfare Destroyer Sydney will be launched at the Osborne Naval Shipyard near Port Adelaide, South Australia, in a May 19 ceremony attended by government, naval and defence industry dignitaries.

The warship is about 75 per cent complete and will likely undergo sea trials towards the end of the year before being commissioned in 2019.

Like its two sister ships, Sydney is 146.7m long and will have a top speed of more than 28 knots (52km/h), a range of about 5000 nautical miles and accommodation for more than 200 personnel.

It will also carry a range of weapons, detection and electronic warfare systems on board, which include an Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7.1, SPQ Horizon Search Radar, 48 vertical launch missile cells, an Mk 45 5″ 62 Calibre gun for coastal operations and two quad launchers of anti-ship HARPOON weapon systems.

The three ships in the A$8 billion project were ordered in 2007 and the first ship, HMAS Hobart, was delivered in June 2017. The second air warfare destroyer, Brisbane, successfully completed the first phase of builder’s sea trials in November, which included testing the ship’s propulsion, manoeuvring, control and navigation systems. It is expected to be delivered to the Commonwealth mid-year while Sydney is due for delivery in 2019.

Formerly known as Techport Adelaide, the Osborne Naval Shipyard about 15km from the centre of Adelaide is Australia’s premier naval industry hub. It has a rich history of naval shipbuilding dating back to the six Collins Class Submarines constructed there by ASC from 1990 to 2003. The submarines are still also maintained at the site.

The precinct is also expected to be where 12 Shortfin Barracuda submarines will be built by French shipbuilder Naval Group for the Royal Australian Navy from 2022/23.

The Future Submarines project is part of an $89 billion Australian defence spend, which also includes nine frigates and 12 offshore patrol vessels.

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