The Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) second Hobart-class air warfare destroyer (AWD), HMAS Brisbane, keel has been laid during a ceremony held at Techport Australia in Adelaide, marking an important milestone for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) project.
AWD Alliance CEO Rod Equid said that the keel laying ceremony represents the start of the hull consolidation phase for HMAS Brisbane, the second destroyer being built for the Royal Australian Navy as part of Australia's largest approved major project with the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).
"As we celebrate the start of the consolidation phase for Brisbane, we also mark progress on Ship 1 Hobart," Equid said.
"All 31 blocks have now been erected on the hardstand in readiness for the load-out and set-to-work of the combat system."
Based on the Navantia-designed F100 frigate, the AWD ships will be integrated with advanced sonar systems, decoys and surface-launched torpedoes for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations.
Hobart programme's one of the next key milestones is the combat system activation following the successful integration testing at land-based facilities, Equid added.
"Once Hobart is floated off, Brisbane will take prominence on the hardstand of the Common User Facility where we will see the ship take shape," he said.
The AWD Alliance comprises ASC, the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and Raytheon.
The Hobart-class vessels can be used in law enforcement operations, defence aid to the civil community, collection of environmental data, rescue operations and diplomatic roles.
HMAS Hobart and HMAS Brisbane are scheduled to be delivered to RAN in early 2016 and mid-2017 respectively.