Construction of HMAS Hobart, lead ship in a new class of air warfare destroyers for the Royal Australian Navy, proceeds apace. The Hobart design is based on the Spanish Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate, which beat out the US Arleigh Burke- class in the RAN’s search for a new air defence destroyer.
The new destroyer will be the third HMAS Hobart. The first was HMAS Hobart (D63) a Leander class cruiser that served during the Second World War. The second was HMAS Hobart (D39) a Perth class destroyer that served from 1965 to 2000.
Consolidation of final keel block for first Air Warfare Destroyer
Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly AM MP today announced the final keel block for the future destroyer, Hobart, has been successfully lifted into place by the AWD Alliance in Adelaide.
Dr Kelly said the final keel block is the 18th of 31 blocks to be joined into what is rapidly becoming the recognisable structure of the Hobart.
“This particular block will house flotation and stabilisation equipment for the Hobart and will now be consolidated into the existing ship structure to complete the keel,” Dr Kelly said.
“The keel is the main structural element stretching along the centre line of the bottom of a ship from the bow to the stern.
“The keel blocks will contain part of the Vertical Launch System, the diesel and gas turbine main engine rooms, auxiliary engine rooms, ballast tanks, propeller shafts and sonar equipment.”
Each destroyer will have six Vertical Launch System modules containing eight cells which are able to store and launch missiles.
“There are a total of 48 cells in each ship, with each cell able to be armed with either a single Standard Missile 2, or four Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles.
“The Hobart Class destroyers will provide the Royal Australian Navy with the most capable warships they have ever operated, with a sophisticated range of both offensive and defensive weapons.”
Dr Kelly said the AWD project is the most complex naval ship construction program ever undertaken in Australia.
“This milestone demonstrates the ongoing progress and quality of work being undertaken by the national shipbuilding industry across the country,” Dr Kelly said.
Consolidation of the entire hull will be complete in early 2014 and will be followed by fit-out and testing of the ships’ systems before sea trials are undertaken.
The AWD Alliance is made up of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) representing the Australian Government, ASC as the lead shipbuilder and Raytheon Australia as the mission systems integrator.