Today, the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance celebrated the successful completion of Sea Acceptance Trials by the first destroyer Hobart following 21 days at sea off the coast of South Australia.
AWD Alliance General Manager Paul Evans remarked that sea trials were a significant achievement for the Air Warfare Destroyer project in proving the advanced platform and combat systems on-board the ship.
“Over the past five weeks, the AWD Alliance has conducted some 20 platform system tests and 45 combat system tests, to successfully validate Hobart’s complete Mission System. Combined, these systems will deliver a world leading capability for the Royal Australian Navy,” said Evans.
“Completing Acceptance Sea Trials on a first of class ship is a momentous occasion for the Alliance as we move closer to delivering Hobart to Defence. It has been achieved through the extraordinary efforts of the on-board crew and support team, whose dedication and commitment has been instrumental in ensuring the success of Hobart’s sea trials.”
The Alliance is on track to deliver Hobart to Defence in June 2017 representing more than decade of dedication and effort by the AWD shipbuilding and combat system workforce on one of the most complex defence projects in Australia’s history.
Significant progress has been made on the AWD project and destroyer Hobart to reach this milestone with work commencing in January 2010, hull consolidation in March 2014, official launch in May 2015 and Builder’s Sea Trials in September 2016.
Shipbuilder ASC, shipbuilder manager Navantia, and combat systems integrator Raytheon Australia, offered their congratulations on the successful completion of Sea Acceptance Trials.
ASC Shipbuilding CEO, Mark Lamarre, expressed his pride in the shipbuilding workforce and the broader naval shipbuilding industry in Australia.
"Successful completion of Sea Acceptance Trials is a great moment for the thousands of shipbuilders who have been working on this project, bringing the ship to life,” Lamarre said.
“This proves the highly skilled and professional naval shipbuilding capability that exists right here in South Australia.”
“It is a testament to the collaborative nature of the project, which has seen industry working together to deliver to the RAN a new and potent air warfare capability. This achievement shows the way forward for future shipbuilding in Australia.”
Navantia Australian Operations Director, Jorge Filgueira, echoed these sentiments: “Navantia acknowledges this significant achievement as being the result of a team effort, where Navantia’s experience as designer and shipbuilder has contributed significantly to the success of the Program,” Filgueira said.
“Navantia’s highly skilled team is well integrated within the AWD Alliance and is committed to having the Program achieve its delivery schedule.”
“The results of the sea trials are very encouraging and provide the necessary confidence that we are on track to build up the capability that will be necessary to undertake the future naval continuous shipbuilding programs in Australia.”
Managing Director of Raytheon Australia, Michael Ward, said that this is a momentous day for Raytheon Australia, its dedicated workforce and our nation’s sovereign defence industry.
“The successful testing of the AWD combat system highlights the strength of Raytheon Australia’s capabilities in combat systems integration and the company’s ability to deliver to budget and schedule,” Ward said.
“As the combat systems integrator for the project, Raytheon Australia has applied its highly skilled AWD workforce of 350 people including architects, systems engineers and project managers to the project over the last decade.”
“The combat system is what gives the AWDs their lethality. The work that Raytheon Australia has successfully undertaken is critical to the deterrent nature of the naval surface fleet and its ability to interoperate with the United States.”
AWD Alliance Program Manager, Commodore Craig Bourke commented that the successful completion of Sea Acceptance Trials was achieved through the combined efforts of the 200+ crew on-board, with assistance from the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, and Defence industry.
“Hobart’s sensors, weapons and communications systems have been put to the test by Royal Australian Air Force and civilian aircraft, Royal Australian Navy ships and helicopters through a complex series of simulated scenarios and battle space management,” Commodore Bourke said.
“This achievement demonstrates and proves the capacity of Australia’s sovereign defence industry to successfully build and integrate ships for our specific defence needs.”
“It also speaks volumes about the AWD Alliance’s close level of customer involvement and collaboration on every aspect of the project, laying the foundations for future defence projects in Australia.”
Further progress on the AWD Project is expected to be achieved in 2017 with the second destroyer, Brisbane undertaking Builder’s Sea Trials and third destroyer, Sydney, achieving hull consolidation later this year.
The AWD Alliance is responsible for delivering three Hobart Class DDG destroyers and their support systems to the Defence. The Alliance is made up of shipbuilder ASC, mission systems integrator Raytheon Australia and the Government’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.