The Australian Department of Defence has taken delivery of the first of three Hobart-class air warfare destroyers (AWDs), HMAS Hobart, from Lockheed Martin.
The delivery follows the completion of HMAS Hobart's sea acceptance trials in March, which were conducted off the coast of South Australia over a 21-day period.
Australia Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said: “The acceptance of this first-of-class ship is a further demonstration of the success of the Government-led reform initiative, with the program 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.”
HMAS Hobart is the first Aegis-equipped ship to be delivered to Australia.
The Aegis weapon system has been designed as a total combat management system from detection to engagement.
Lockheed noted that the centralised, automated, command-and-control weapons control enables multi-mission capability, network centric warfare, cooperative engagement capability and growth to SM-6 and future capabilities.
The three Hobart-class AWDs are being built under Australia’s SEA 4000 programme, and delivery of these multi-mission ships is currently set for completion by the end of 2019.
Lockheed Martin has also completed installation of the Aegis computer programme aboard Brisbane, Australia’s second Aegis-equipped AWD.
Image: HMAS Hobart is the first Aegis-equipped ship delivered to Australia. Photo: courtesy of Commonwealth of Defence.