The Australian Government has commissioned HMAS Sydney V at sea, marking the conclusion of its Air Warfare Destroyer programme.

With the commissioning, the destroyer has joined the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Furthermore, the development marks a milestone in the government’s $90bn Naval Shipbuilding plan.

Australia Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “The commissioning of the final Hobart Class Destroyer not only marks the beginning of a new era for the navy, but also demonstrates the success of this government’s Australian Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

“The navy is now equipped with a new level of flexibility and lethality to protect maritime task groups operating in an increasingly complex region, while also allowing us to work even closer with our allies.”

HMAS Sydney V along with HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane will provide air defence for ships accompanying them and to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas.

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It is the fifth warship to bear this name.

RAN vice admiral Michael Noonan said: “Sydney was technically upgraded during her build to integrate the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ Seahawk submarine-hunting helicopter and her Close-in Weapons Systems, making her Australia’s most lethal ship.

“She is designed to protect task groups by providing air defence to accompanying ships, in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and self-protection against missiles and aircraft.”

The vessels are capable of conducting joint maritime operations, area air defence, escort duties, peacetime national tasking, and diplomatic missions.

In February this year, the RAN announced the deployment of Mine Counter-Measures (MCM) capability under Project SEA 1778 in order to protect maritime task groups from the threat of sea mines.