Australia Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has attended a ceremony at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, Adelaide, to mark the Government’s provisional approval of the first air warfare destroyer (AWD) Hobart.

Pyne said Hobart is the first of three AWD’s being built and integrated by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, which comprises the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia, ASC, and support from Navantia.

The Minister said: "The acceptance of this first of class ship is a further demonstration of the success of the government-led reform initiative. With the programme meeting all budget and schedule targets, Hobart will enter into service later this year."

"Hobart will play a critical role for defence by providing new interoperable capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy. By using a combination of US and Australian technologies, these ships will allow us to work even closer with our allies.

"Importantly, these ships will provide a safer environment for Australia’s entire Defence Force, as they have the ability to move faster for longer, whilst forming a protective bubble around themselves and other assets in a task force."

Over the last decade, more than 5,000 skilled Australians have constructed all three AWD’s whilst also creating a new combat and support system to meet the unique needs of the Australian Defence Force.

Christopher Pyne said provisional acceptance represented some of the most complex and innovative engineering accomplishments ever undertaken in Australia.

He added: "These skills have taken over a decade to build and position Australia well to support the Government’s new Naval Shipbuilding Plan. The AWD programme underscores the importance of Australia’s defence industry as a fundamental input into capability.

"Rather than just being a supplier for Defence, this programme proves how Australian Defence Industry is truly a strategic partner with Defence."