The Royal Australian Navy’s third Hobart-class air warfare destroyer, HMAS Sydney (DDG 42), has commenced the first phase of builder’s sea trials.

During this phase, HMAS Sydney will be tested to validate the performance of its hull, propulsion and navigation systems.

Sydney is the last ship of the three Hobart-class guided-missile destroyers. The other two vessels in the class are HMAS Hobart and HMAS Brisbane.

Based on the Navantia-designed F100 frigate, HMAS Sydney is being built in Australia by an industry team known as Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance.

The team comprises ASC, Raytheon Australia, and Spain’s Navantia.

Australia Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “Over the past decade, more than 5,000 people from across the Department of Defence, ASC, Raytheon Australia and Navantia have dedicated millions of hours of work towards delivering the most capable warships ever to be operated by the Royal Australian Navy.

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“This is underpinned by over 2,700 suppliers who have supported the AWD Alliance in its efforts to expand Australian Industry Capability for the overall programme.

“Through the AWD programme, we have created a local workforce with specialist shipbuilding and complex systems integration skills that will form the foundation for future shipbuilding projects in Australia.”

After completion of the initial trial phase, Sydney will undergo further sea trials next month ahead of its planned delivery next year.

The advanced phase of trials will test the AWD’s combat and communications systems.

Sydney, which was launched in May last year, is equipped with the Aegis combat system incorporating AN/SPY 1D(V) phased array radar and the SM-2 missile.

The destroyer will provide air defence for accompanying ships with the ability to engage enemy aircraft and missiles.

Equipped with an MH-60R helicopter, the ship will also support surveillance duties.

Sydney can also be used to perform undersea warfare. The Hobart-class AWDs have the capability to counter conventional and asymmetric threats.