The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) third Hobart-class air warfare destroyer (AWD), HMAS Sydney departed her home port at Fleet Base East last week to conduct trials on her AEGIS weapons system with the United States Navy. The tests are a crucial milestone in order for Sydney to be declared available for operational deployments. The ship’s company of Sydney voluntarily received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the North American deployment and Sydney sailed with a full crew. Sydney is the last of the three Hobart-class guided missile destroyers to conduct the testing.
Wishing Sydney fair winds and following seas on her deployment to the US to undergo her combat systems sea qualification trials there and in Canada, Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Mark Hammond said the deployment marked the culmination of more than a decade of work by the Australian Shipbuilding Industry to deliver this war-fighting capability to Royal Australian Navy, and represented Sydney’s final milestone in the ship’s introduction into service. Rear Admiral Hammond wished Commanding Officer Sydney Commander Edward Seymour and his crew a successful deployment, and expressed his thanks to all the families and friends for the support shown to their loved ones during the deployment.
HMAS Sydney (DDG 42), named after the city of Sydney, New South Wales, is the third and final ship of the Hobart class air warfare destroyers used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). HMAS Sydney was laid down on 19 November 2015, and launched on 19 May 2018. The ship was delivered to Australian Department of Defence on 28 February 2020, after sea trials since September 2019. HMAS Sydney was commissioned at sea off the coast of New South Wales on 18 May 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic. This was the first time since the Second World War that an Australian warship was commissioned at sea. In March 2021, the ship’s combat systems were tested in advance of any operational deployments.
The Hobart class is a ship class of three air warfare destroyers (AWDs) built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Planning for ships to replace the Adelaide-class frigates and restore the capability last exhibited by the Perth-class destroyers began by 2000, initially under acquisition project SEA 1400, which was re-designated SEA 4000. Although the designation “Air Warfare Destroyer” is used to describe ships dedicated to the defence of a naval force (plus assets ashore) from aircraft and missile attack, the planned Australian destroyers are expected to also operate in anti-surface, anti-submarine, and naval gunfire support roles.