The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has commissioned the first Hobart-class air warfare destroyer, HMAS Hobart, in a formal ceremony at Garden Island in Sydney.
The vessel is the third ship to bear the name Hobart and will be capable of providing air defence for accompanying ships, in addition to land forces and other infrastructure in coastal areas.
It is also expected to offer self-protection against missiles and aircraft, as well as have the potential to carry out various undersea warfare missions.
Additionally, HMS Hobart has been equipped with the latest sonar systems, decoys, surface-launched torpedoes and an array of close-in defensive weapons.
The vessel was built based on the Navantia-designed F100 frigate and will feature the advanced Aegis combat solution, including the phased array radar and missile systems.
This will enable the ship to engage enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges beyond 150km.
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HMAS Hobart's commissioning is in line with the Australian Government’s commitment to support a continuous sovereign naval shipbuilding programme, which intends to provide the navy with advanced technology.
The programme will also help strengthen Australia’s defence capability and defence industry, while generating thousands of job opportunities across the country.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said: “The commissioning of HMAS Hobart provides clear evidence of our determination to keep Australians safe and ensure we are ready and able to meet the challenges that come our way in the years ahead.
“Wherever she may travel around the world, Hobart will serve our nation and take action in Australia's name.”
HMS Hobart is the first of three guided missile destroyers of the Hobart-class that are slated to enter into naval service in the coming years.
The Australian Navy ship is now set to undergo a testing and evaluation process.
The RAN originally laid the keel for HMAS Hobart on 6 September 2012 and the vessel was launched on 23 May 2015.
Image: The ship's company line the upper decks and cheer ship during HMAS Hobart’s Commissioning Ceremony held at Garden Island, Sydney. Photo: courtesy of the Commonwealth of Australia.