The Royal Australian Navy has taken the delivery of the NUSHIP Sydney – third and final Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), the future HMAS Sydney (pennant number 42), on February 28, 2020. The acceptance ceremony, which was attended by Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, marked the conclusion of the AUD9 billion (USD6 billion) AWD construction programme to replace six Adelaide-class (US Oliver Hazard Perry design) guided-missile frigates, the last of which was decommissioned in October 2019, with the 7,000 tonne Aegis-equipped AWDs.
The third Hobart-class destroyer is expected to be commissioned in Sydney on 20 May and undertake work-up activities until the end of the year in preparation for up to six months of US Navy Combat System Ship Qualification (CSSQT) trials. Delivery of Sydney was several months earlier than previously re-scheduled following a decision to modify the storage of Mk 54 anti-submarine torpedoes and AGM-114N Hellfire air-to-surface missiles for the ship’s MH-60R multirole naval helicopter as part of the construction process rather than after its completion.
The Hobart-class is a ship class of three air warfare destroyers (AWDs) being built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The Hobart class ship has a length overall of 147.2 meters, a maximum beam of 18.6 meters, and a draught of 5.17 meters. At launch, the ships will have a full-load displacement of 6,250 tonnes (6,150 long tons; 6,890 short tons). The Hobarts have been designed to allow for upgrades and installation of new equipment, with a theoretical maximum displacement of 7,000 tonnes (6,900 long tons; 7,700 short tons).
The Hobart-class main weapon consists of a 48-cell Mark 41 Vertical Launch System. The cells are capable of firing the RIM-66 Standard 2 anti-aircraft missile or the quad-packed RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow point-defence missile. The missiles are supplemented by two four-canister launchers for Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a BAE Systems Mark 45 (Mod 4) 5-inch gun with a 62-caliber barrel. Two Babcock Mark 32 Mod 9 two-tube torpedo launchers will be carried and used to fire Eurotorp MU90 torpedoes at submarines. For close-in defense, the ships will carry an aft-facing Phalanx CIWS system, plus two M242 Bushmasters in Typhoon mounts sited on the bridge wings.