According to the press release of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and statement of Australian Department of Defense (DoD), RAN’s latest addition to the fleet, The Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) HMAS Sydney (DDG 42), has set sail for the first time and is currently conducting Builder’s Sea Trials in South Australia.
The phase will test the vessel’s hull, propulsion, and navigation systems, according to a statement from Australia’s Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds, which was released on 16 September.
This will be followed by a more advanced phase of sea trials in October 2019 that will test the ship’s combat and communications systems in preparation for its delivery in 2020, the statement added. NUSHIP Sydney is due to commission in early May 2020.
The HMAS Sydney is the third and final ship of the 7,000-ton Hobart-class of guided-missile (air warfare) destroyers. The surface combatant, based on the Navantia-designed Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate (aka F-100) currently in service with the Spanish Navy, was laid down in November 2015.
Hobart Class Destroyer :
The Hobart-class is the first class of Australian warships to be built around the U.S.-made Aegis combat system and the first warship class outside the U.S. Navy to be fitted with a so-called cooperative engagement capability (CEC), a new wide-area integrated air defense system.
The Hobart-class AWDs are the first RAN warships to be equipped with the Aegis combat system. Aegis includes an SPY-1D (V) radar, Mk 41 vertical launch system (VLS), SM-2 standard missile and an open architecture (OA) combat system.
The AWD is armed with the SM-6 long-range anti-aircraft missile, the Harpoon anti-ship missile system and Mk32 Mod9 surface vessel torpedo tubes (SVTT) for MU90 torpedoes.
The AWD is fitted with a BAE Systems Mk 45 5in 62 calibre gun and a Phalanx Block 1B close-in weapons system (CIWS).
The destroyer is equipped with an ES-3701 tactical radar electronic support measures (ESM) and surveillance system. In December 2008, the AWD Alliance awarded a contract for the supply of a decoy launching system to Terma. Four deck-mounted MK-137 130mm decoy launchers can fire decoys to deceive incoming anti-ship missiles. Other countermeasures include Nulka active missile decoy launchers and ASW torpedo decoys.
The AWD’s sensor suite includes AN/SPY-1D (V) phased array radar, a horizon search radar, a SAM Electronics X-band navigation radar, an integrated hull-mounted and towed array sonar system, and a VAMPIR infrared search-and-track (IRST) system.
The AWD is equipped with a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) propulsion system with two GE LM 2500 gas turbines and two diesel engines. It is also fitted with a bow thruster for improved manoeuvrability.