Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, announced recently that Australia’s $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) was progressing well with key milestones in the delivery of its combat and weapons control system being met.
“I am pleased to announce that the US Navy has conducted a ‘pull the plug’ ceremony on the combat system for the Hobart Class destroyers,” Combet said.
“This ceremony marks the ‘de-energising’ of the combat system and symbolises its readiness for installation in the first AWD. To reach this point the system, including the radar and missile fire control equipment, had to complete a full range of US Navy acceptance tests to verify its performance.
“The completion of testing of the Aegis Combat System equipment destined for the Hobart Class ships marks a major milestone in the delivery of this world-class capability from the US Navy to the Royal Australian Navy.
“The Aegis Combat System is deployed on nearly 100 warships around the world. In addition to the US and Australian Navies, Aegis is deployed on Japanese, Spanish, Norwegian and South Korean warships.
“This system is capable of detecting and defeating multiple hostile aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometres. With this system deployed, the AWD will be able to provide protection for a naval task force against air, surface and submarine threats.
“Work on other sub-systems in the AWD combat system is also progressing well with the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance recently signing a $20 million contract with McDonnell Douglas (a subsidiary of Boeing) for the Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control System.
“As a key element of the Hobart Class combat system, the Harpoon missile will allow our three Air Warfare Destroyers to engage surface and land targets at ranges well beyond the horizon,” Combet said.
The first of Australia’s three Air Warfare Destroyers will be called HMAS Hobart (a name with a proud history) and is due for delivery to the Royal Australian Navy in December 2014.