The Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart-class guided-missile destroyer NUSHIP Sydney will undergo a significant capability upgrade at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia.
The upgrades during the ship’s build will allow it to enter operation one year ahead of schedule.
NUSHIP Sydney is the third and final ship of the Hobart-class air warfare destroyer.
Australia Defence Minister Christopher Pyne noted that that Department of Defence (DoD) was able to streamline a technical upgrade to the vessel.
The streamlining was aimed at accelerating the ship’s operational schedule.
Pyne said: “Structural modifications to accommodate the MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopter into the Hobart-class were planned to be completed after operational acceptance trials, but an opportunity was identified to bring the aviation upgrade forward.
“The upgrade to the ship’s infrastructure to support the Romeo, the Royal Australian Navy’s next-generation maritime combat helicopter, will make it Australia’s most advanced warship.”
Australia Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds stated that performing the aviation upgrade during construction of the vessel will help boost the country’s defence capability.
Reynolds said: “The opportunity for the AWD Alliance to complete the work while the ship is still in-build is a testament to the skill and efficiency of the 400-strong shipbuilding workforce at Osborne.”
Australia intends to spend $90bn to further enhance the navy’s capabilities. The programme includes the construction of Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels, Hunter-class frigates, and 12 regionally superior submarines.
Sydney is being built by Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance and is based on the Navantia designed F100 frigate.
Equipped with the Aegis combat system, the vessel has the ability to provide air defence for accompanying ships and land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas.
It is also designed to ensure self-protection against missiles and aircraft.
The ship will also accommodate an MH-60R helicopter to perform surveillance and response in support of warfare operations.