The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) third Hobart-class air warfare destroyer (AWD) has set off for its combat systems trials, which will be conducted with the US Navy (USN).
The vessel, HMAS Sydney (42), departed home port at Fleet Base East, Garden Island, on 11 March for waters off the US west coast, where the trials will be conducted. “These tests are a crucial milestone in order for Sydney to be declared available for operational deployments,” reads a statement from Australia’s Department of Defence on the same day.
Sydney, which was commissioned in May 2020, is the final vessel in a three-ship programme to replace Australia’s Adelaide-class (US Oliver Hazard Perry design) guided-missile frigates. The first vessel, HMAS Hobart (39), was commissioned in September 2017, while the second warship, HMAS Brisbane (41), was inducted in October 2018.
The class has an overall length of 146.7 m, an overall beam of 18.6 m, and a hull draught of 4.9 m. It is powered by two General Electric LM2500 gas-turbine and two Caterpillar diesel engines in a combined diesel or gas (CODOG) configuration, and can attain a top speed of 28 kt, with a standard range of 5,000 n miles at 18 kts.
The warship incorporates the Aegis combat system, and its suite of sensors includes the Lockheed Martin and Raytheon AN/SPY 1D(V) phased-array radar and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B surface search radar.
The AWD’s weapons include a 48-cell MK 41 vertical launching system (VLS) that can fire Standard Missile-2 medium-range Block IIIA (SM-2MR Block IIIA), and SM-2MR Block IIIB long-range surface-to-air missiles at hostile aerial threats. This VLS can also launch the Raytheon RIM-162B Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM).
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