The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) third and final air warfare destroyer (AWD), the HMAS Sydney (DDG 42), has officially been delivered to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in a ceremony at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide on February 28.
The future HMAS Sydney is the third and final ship of the 7,000-ton Hobart-class of guided-missile (air warfare) destroyers. The first-of-class HMAS Hobart was commissioned in September 2017. The HMAS Brisbane entered service in October 2018. The third Hobart-class destroyer is expected to be commissioned in Sydney on May 20.
Following its commissioning, the Sydney will undergo activation of its combat systems and undergo six months of U.S. Navy Combat System Ship Qualification (CSSQT) trials, which will include test firing the surface combatant’s RIM-66 SM-2 Block 3B and RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSMs) air-defense missiles.
The armament of the HMAS Sydney will include the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System capable of firing surface-to-air missiles, Harpoon over-the-horizon anti-ship missiles, light-weight torpedoes, and a Mark 45 127-millimeter gun. The warship will also carry a MH-60R Seahawk anti-submarine warfare helicopter.
The Hobart-class is based on the Navantia-designed Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate (aka F-100) currently in service with the Spanish Navy and is the first class of Australian surface combatants to be built around the U.S.-made Aegis combat system and the first ships outside the U.S. Navy to be equipped with a cooperative engagement capability (CEC), a new wide-area integrated air defense system.
Notably, the entire Hobart-class will undergo expensive upgrades for the Aegis combat system from the current Baseline 7.1 Refresh 2 configuration to Baseline 9.
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