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Australian destroyer enters sea trials


Australia’s second next-generation warship has entered the first phase of sea trials off the coast of South Australia.

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The trials for Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Brisbane over the coming weeks will test the ship’s propulsion, maneuvering, control and navigation systems and will be followed by a more advanced phase of sea trials next year to test combat and communications systems.

Brisbane is the second of three warships built in Adelaide as part of the most complex defence project in Australia’s history – an $8 billion collaboration between ASC, Raytheon and the Department of Defence at Techport, Australia’s premier naval industry hub.

Mid next year, Brisbane will be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy to join her sister ship, HMAS Hobart, and will be followed by the delivery of the third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, Sydney, in 2019.

The new Brisbane destroyer is the third ship in the Australian Navy’s history to share the same name.

The ship is 146.7m long and has a top speed of more than 28 knots (52km/h), a range of about 5000 nautical miles and can accommodate 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.

AWD Alliance General Manager Paul Evans said the program continued to meet or exceed the latest milestone targets.

“Our workforce of more than 1700 in Adelaide has improved and evolved the production and set to work on these ships, with our whole team working hard to achieve this milestone ahead of post-reform schedule targets,” he said.

AWD Program Manager Commodore Craig Bourke acknowledged the collaboration between industry and the Australian Government on the program.

“The AWD program has built the foundation of Australia’s shipbuilding and systems integration industry, with more than 60 per cent Australian Industry Capability to date,” he said.

The AWD enterprise partners include the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia as the combat systems integrator, ASC as the shipbuilder and Navantia as the shipbuilder manager.

Raytheon Australia Managing Director Michael Ward commended the team on today’s achievement.

“As the combat systems integrator for the AWD program, Raytheon Australia has applied its highly skilled Australian workforce of 350 architects, systems engineers and project managers to the AWD program over the last decade,” he said.

“The commencement of Brisbane’s sea trials is a source of tremendous pride for Raytheon Australia and our home-grown Australian workforce that has built a national asset in complex combat system integration.”

ASC Shipbuilding Chief Executive Officer Mark Lamarre said today’s milestone signified further progress across the program.

“Today marks another big step forward on the journey of delivering three complex surface combatants to the Royal Australian Navy, with the commencement of Builders Sea Trials for the second future destroyer Brisbane,” he said.

“Fundamentally, shipbuilding is about people – talented, skilled and experienced people.  Our shipbuilding team and their immense skill, capability and pride continues to deliver and demonstrate our strength as a highly capable, sovereign shipbuilder,” he said.

Techport is also expected to be where 12 Shortfin Barracuda submarines will be built by French shipbuilder Naval Group for the Royal Australian Navy.

Navantia Australia’s Managing Director Donato Martínez commented on the sense of pride felt throughout the workforce noting today’s achievement.

“It is always an exciting moment for a shipbuilder when a new vessel goes to sea for the first time. Following the commissioning of HMAS Hobart earlier this year, the sea trials phase for Brisbane demonstrates the success of the Adelaide shipbuilding enterprise,” he said.

“We are proud of the role Navantia has played in meeting the goals of the AWD reform initiative and we look forward to successfully delivering a highly capable warship to the Royal Australian Navy next year.”

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