Hobart-class destroyer

The Hobart class is a ship class of three air warfare destroyers (AWDs) being 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.

Planning for the Australian Air Warfare Destroyer (as the class was known until 2006) continued through the mid-2000s, with the selection of the Aegis combat system as the intended combat system and ASC as the primary shipbuilder in 2005. In late 2005, the AWD Alliance was formed as a consortium of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), ASC, and Raytheon. Between 2005 and 2007, Gibbs & Cox's Evolved Arleigh Burke-class destroyer concept and Navantia's Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate competed for selection as the AWD design. Although the Arleigh Burke design was larger and more capable, the Álvaro de Bazán design was selected in June 2007 as it was an existing design, and would be cheaper, quicker, and less risky to build.

Three ships were ordered in October 2007, and will be assembled at ASC's facility in Osborne, South Australia, from 31 pre-fabricated modules (or 'blocks'). An option to build a fourth destroyer was included in the original contract, but has not been exercised. ASC, NQEA Australia, and the Forgacs Group were selected in May 2009 to build the blocks, but within two months, NQEA was replaced by BAE Systems Australia. Construction errors and growing delays led the AWD Alliance to redistribute the construction workload in 2011, with some modules to be built by Navantia. Increasing slippage has pushed the original planned 2014-2016 commissioning dates out by at least three years, with lead ship Hobart to be completed by June 2017, Brisbane in September 2018, and Sydney by March 2020. The AWD Alliance, Navantia, and the involved shipyards have been criticised for underestimating risks, costs, and timeframes; faulty drawings and bad building practices leading to repeated manufacturing errors; and blame-passing. The alliance concept has been panned for having no clear management structure or entity in charge, and having the DMO simultaneously acting as supplier, build partner, and customer for the ships.

HMAS Hobart December 2017
HMAS Hobart (DDG 39) in December 2017
Class overview
Name: Hobart class
Operators:  Royal Australian Navy
Preceded by: Perth-class destroyer and Adelaide-class frigate
Cost: A$9.1 billion for 3 ships
Built: 2009–present
Planned: 3
Building: 1
Active: 2
General characteristics (as designed)
Type: Air warfare destroyer
Displacement: 7,000 tonnes (6,900 long tons; 7,700 short tons) full load
Length: 147.2 metres (483 ft)
Beam: 18.6 metres (61 ft) maximum
Draught: 5.17 metres (17.0 ft)
  • Combined diesel or gas (CODOG) arrangement
  • 2 × General Electric Marine model 7LM2500-SA-MLG38 gas turbines, 17,500 kilowatts (23,500 hp) each
  • 2 × Caterpillar Bravo 16 V Bravo diesel engines, 5,650 kilowatts (7,580 hp) each
  • 2 × controllable pitch propellers
Speed: Over 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Range: Over 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
  • 186 + 16 aircrew
  • Accommodation for 234
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Aegis combat system
  • Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-1D(V) S-band radar
  • Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B X-band pulse Doppler horizon search radar
  • Raytheon Mark 99 fire-control system with two continuous wave illuminating radars
  • 2 × L-3 Communications SAM Electronics X-band navigation radars
  • Ultra Electronics Sonar Systems, hull mounted sonar and towed sonar [1]
  • Ultra Electronics Series 2500 electro-optical director
  • Sagem VAMPIR IR search and track system
  • Rafael Toplite stabilised target acquisition sights
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • ITT EDO Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems ES-3701 ESM radar
  • SwRI MBS-567A communications ESM system
  • Ultra Electronics Avalon Systems multipurpose digital receiver
  • Jenkins Engineering Defence Systems low-band receiver
  • 4 × Nulka decoy launchers
  • 4 × 6-tube multipurpose decoy launchers
Aircraft carried: 1 x MH-60R Seahawk


The 1992 Force Structure Review contained plans to replace the three Perth-class guided-missile destroyers and four of the six Adelaide-class guided-missile frigates with air defence vessels.[2] The initial proposal – to build an additional six Anzac-class frigates configured for wide-area anti-aircraft warfare – did not go ahead as the Anzac design was too small to effectively host all the required equipment and weapons.[2] Instead, the RAN began to upgrade the Adelaides in 1999 to fill the anti-aircraft capability that would be lost when the Perths left service between 1999 and 2001.[3][4] The frigate upgrade was only intended as a stop-gap (only four ships were upgraded, and all four were due to decommission during the mid-2010s), and by 2000, the Australian Defence Force had begun a project to replace the three Perth-class destroyers.[3][4] The acquisition of the dedicated air warfare destroyers was initially identified as Project SEA 1400, then redesignated Project SEA 4000.[3]

The main role of the air warfare destroyer is air defence of a naval task group, in addition to assets ashore and operating in the littoral.[4] Although specifically designed for air warfare, the AWDs also had to be capable of facing other threats, and were to be fitted with ship-to-ship missiles, a gun for naval gunfire support of soldiers ashore, and anti-submarine capability through sonar systems and abovewater-launched torpedoes.[4] The ships had to be able to operate a helicopter for both surveillance and combat duties.[4]

In 2004, the Department of Defence identified that the future air warfare destroyer class would be built around the United States Navy's Aegis Combat System.[5] The use of Aegis was formally approved in April 2005, and Raytheon Australia was brought into the AWD project with the responsibility of integrating the Aegis system into the selected design, along with modifications to accommodate RAN-preferred electronic warfare equipment, underwater sensors, and weapons.[4][5] In May 2005, the ASC shipyard at Osborne, South Australia, was identified as the primary shipbuilder for the project.[4] In late 2005, the AWD Alliance was formed to organise and implement the project.[4] The Alliance is a consortium including the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), ASC's project-dedicated subsidiary, and Raytheon.[4]

Bow view of USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) escorting Alvaro de Bazan (F101) in the Persian Gulf 051203-N-7241L-002
The two competing designs for the Australian AWD project: Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Donald Cook leading Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate Álvaro de Bazán in 2005

After receiving tenders from Blohm + Voss, Navantia, and Gibbs & Cox, among others, the Australian government identified Gibbs & Cox's Evolved Flight II Arleigh Burke-class destroyer as the preferred design in August 2005.[5][6] The Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate, designed by Navantia, was identified as the official alternative, and both designs began further testing and modification as part of a two-year selection process.[5][6] The two ship designs were equivalent in many areas, including length, speed and weapons outfit, although the Arleigh Burke class was larger with a displacement 2,200 tons greater than the Spanish frigate, and had superior capabilities in regards to range (700 nautical miles (1,300 km; 810 mi) greater), helicopter operations (two embarked helicopters instead of one), primary armament (a 64-cell Mark 41 Vertical Launch System compared to a 48-cell launcher), and close-defence (with a second close-in weapons system).[7] The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Shalders, believed the American design would provide the RAN with a greater long-term capability, as there was greater scope for upgrades and modifications later in the ships' careers.[8] Despite the American destroyer being the preferred option, the conclusion of the selection process in late June 2007 saw Navantia's Álvaro de Bazán design selected: the Spanish ships were considered a less-risky design as, unlike the Evolved Arleigh Burkes (which at this point only existed as an on-paper design), vessels of the Spanish design had been built and were operational.[5] The Álvaro de Bazán derivatives were predicted to be in service four years earlier than the American-designed ships, and would cost A$1 billion less to build, with further financial and technical benefits in ordering the AWDs and the Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships from the same supplier.[5]

The contract for the ships was signed on 4 October 2007.[4] The A$8 billion, three-ship deal included the option to order a fourth ship at a later date.[9] This option was due to expire in October 2008.[9] The Australian government sought to extend the offer into early 2009, so as to review the recommendations of the Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030 white paper due for completion at the end of 2008, and to enquire about acquiring a fourth Aegis system from the USN, before ordering or cancelling the fourth destroyer.[9] The Navy League of Australia has consistently supported the acquisition of a fourth AWD.[10] According to the Navy League, building a fourth destroyer would be relatively cheap (money for design and other 'start-up' costs would have already been spent) and improve RAN capabilities (by offering increased flexibility and redundancy, particularly in the event of a Falklands War-like armed conflict).[10][11] Along with the Navy League, the Australian defence industry has supported a fourth destroyer, to keep workers employed for longer while reducing the gap to the next major defence construction projects (the Collins-class replacement and the Anzac-class replacement).[10][11][12]

The Australian Minister for Defence announced on 20 January 2006 that the Air Warfare Destroyers will be named HMAS Hobart (DDG 39), HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41), and HMAS Sydney (DDG 42).[13][14] The Navy League of Australia suggested several possible names for a possible fourth destroyer; one was to name the ship Melbourne; another involved taking the Adelaide name from the second Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ship, and renaming the larger vessel Australia.[11][15]


HMAS Hobart and Brisbane at ASC Osborne - cropped
HMAS Hobart, left, and HMAS Brisbane at ASC Osborne in June 2016.

Each destroyer will have a length overall of 147.2 metres (483 ft), a maximum beam of 18.6 metres (61 ft), and a draught of 5.17 metres (17.0 ft).[4] At launch, the ships will have a full-load displacement of 6,250 tonnes (6,150 long tons; 6,890 short tons).[16] 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).[16]

The Hobarts use a more powerful propulsion system than their Spanish predecessors.[5] The combined diesel or gas turbine (CODOG) propulsion arrangement consists of two General Electric Marine model 7LM2500-SA-MLG38 gas turbines, each generating 17,500 kilowatts (23,500 hp), and two Caterpillar Bravo 16 V Bravo diesel engines, each providing 5,650 kilowatts (7,580 hp).[4] These drive two propeller shafts, fitted with Wärtsilä controllable pitch propellers.[4] The ships' maximum speed is over 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph), with a range of over 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph); although not fast enough to keep pace with an American carrier battle group, the RAN is happy with the speed/range tradeoff, as endurance is more important for Australian operating conditions.[4] For in-harbour manoeuvring, each destroyer is fitted with a bow thruster.[4]

The standard ship's company is 186-strong, plus 16 additional personnel to operate and maintain the ship's helicopter.[4] Additional accommodation increases the maximum potential complement to 31 officers and 203 sailors.[4] Onboard electricity requirements (the hotel load) are supplied by four MTU prime mover diesel motors connected to Alconza alternators.[4]


Each ship's main weapon is a 48-cell Mark 41 Vertical Launch System.[4] 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.[4] The Force 2030 white paper indicates that the Hobart's Mark 41 launchers are likely to be capable (either as built or through later modification) of firing the RIM-174 Standard 6 anti-aircraft missile and the Tomahawk cruise missile.[17]

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-calibre barrel.[4] The 5-inch gun has a maximum range of 23.6 kilometres (14.7 mi).[4] Two Babcock Mark 32 Mod 9 two-tube torpedo launchers will be carried, and used to fire Eurotorp MU90 torpedoes at submarines.[4] For close-in defence, the ships will carry an aft-facing Phalanx CIWS system, plus two M242 Bushmasters in Typhoon mounts sited on the bridge wings.[18]

In November 2006, the Australian Government commissioned research on whether the AWDs should be equipped with anti-ballistic missile capabilities, most likely linked to the United States Department of Defense's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.[19]

The Hobarts will each initially carry a single S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter.[16] The helicopter will be replaced by the MH-60 Romeo version of the Seahawk once it enters RAN service.[16] Two rigid-hulled inflatable boats are carried.[20]

Sensors and systems

HMAS Hobart upper superstructure and mast December 2017
HMAS Hobart's mast and upper superstructure, showing many of the ship's sensors

The Hobarts are built around the Aegis combat system, specifically the Aegis Baseline 7.1 Refresh 2 version.[4] The system has been 'Australianised' to be more capable in regards to non-aviation threats.[4] The system feeds into the Australian Tactical Interface; six multi-function consoles that are capable of handling the destroyer's sonar, electronic warfare, and close-defence functions in addition to Aegis.[4] The main radar system is the Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-1D(V) S-band radar.[4] The combination of the AN/SPY-1D(V) radar, Aegis system, and Standard 2 missile will allow each destroyer to fire on enemy aircraft or missiles over 150 kilometres (93 mi) away.[21]

In addition to the main radar, the Hobarts will be fitted with a Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B X-band pulse Doppler horizon search radar, a Raytheon Mark 99 fire-control system with two continuous wave illuminating radars for missile direction, and two L-3 Communications SAM Electronics X-band navigation radars.[4] The ships are fitted with an Ultra Electronics Sonar Systems' Integrated Sonar System, which includes a hull-mounted sonar and a towed variable depth sonar built up from a quad directional active-passive receive array, a passive torpedo detection array and a high-powered towed sonar source. Other sensors include an Ultra Electronics Series 2500 electro-optical director, a Sagem VAMPIR IR search and track system, and Rafael Toplite stabilised target acquisition sights for each ship's Typhoons.[4]

Electronic warfare sensors consist of the ITT EDO Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems ES-3701 electronic support measures (ESM) radar, a SwRI MBS-567A communications ESM system, an Ultra Electronics Avalon Systems multipurpose digital receiver, and a Jenkins Engineering Defence Systems low-band receiver.[4] Countermeasures include four launchers for Nulka decoy missiles, plus four six-tube launchers for radio frequency, infrared, and underwater acoustic decoys.[4]

Communications equipment includes HF, VHF, and UHF radios, Link 11 and Link 16 tactical data exchange uplinks, ASTIS MCE (Advanced SATCOM Terrestrial Infrastructure System Maritime Communications Elements) terminals, and Inmarsat equipment.[4]


Each ship is assembled from 31 pre-fabricated modules or 'blocks', averaging 200 tonnes (200 long tons; 220 short tons) in weight and 15 by 12 by 9 metres (49 by 39 by 30 ft) in size.[22] The nine blocks making up the forward superstructure of each destroyer, containing the most sensitive or classified equipment, are manufactured by ASC's shipyard at Osborne, South Australia, where the final assembly of each destroyer will occur.[4][9][22] The other 22 blocks for each ship were subcontracted out.[9] On 9 May 2009, two companies were selected to fabricate the additional blocks: NQEA Australia (building the twelve blocks of each ship's hull) and Forgacs Group (building the ten aft superstructure blocks per ship).[22][23] However, during June, NQEA advised the AWD Alliance that the shipbuilder was undergoing restructuring and may have difficulty in meeting its contracted obligations.[23] The Department of Defence went into negotiations with NQEA and BAE Systems Australia (which had been shortlisted during the initial subcontractor selection process), and at the end of June, transferred all of NQEA's work to BAE.[23]

HMAS Hobart under construction April 2015
Hobart under construction in April 2015

In October 2010, the 20-by-17-metre (66 by 56 ft) central keel block manufactured by BAE for Hobart was found to be distorted and incompatible with other hull sections.[24] The cause of the fabrication errors is unknown: BAE blamed incorrect drawings from designer Navantia, while the AWD Alliance claimed the other two shipyards have not experienced similar problems, when in fact they had,[25][26][27] and suggested first-of-kind manufacturing errors were made by BAE.[24][28] However, a report in 2014, by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) confirmed that 'errors resulting from a sub-standard technology transfer procedure (passing on specific techniques relative to the design) & drawings that were not localised by designer Navantia' were to blame.[29] The delay in reworking the keel block was predicted to set construction back by at least six months.[24] Other major issues during Hobart's construction included the need to replace 25% of the internal pipework due to faulty manufacture, and the initial rejection of the ship's mainmast block because of defects in the cabling and combat system equipment.[25][26] Brisbane's construction has been marred by numerous defects requiring rework.[26]

HMAS Hobart and the former HMAS Darwin December 2017
Hobart alongside HMAS Darwin in December 2017

In late May 2011, the government announced that the delay in building Hobart had increased to between one and two years, and would attempt to reduce the workload on BAE (which is also responsible for superstructure work on the Canberra-class amphibious ships) by redistributing up to 13 of the 24 hull blocks the company was slated to build for the first two ships to the other two shipyards.[30][31] In addition, the three blocks containing each destroyer's hull-mounted sonar are being assembled by Navantia in Spain and the United Kingdom, with the possibility another two hull blocks could be assigned to the Spanish shipyard.[30][31] An additional nine-month delay was announced in September 2012; this was intended to create a better transition of labour from the destroyers to following shipbuilding projects (replacements for the Collins-class submarines and the Anzac-class frigates), and achieve some savings in the federal budget.[32][33]

A March 2014 report by the ANAO heavily criticised the DMO and the AWD Alliance for underestimating the risks in redesigning the ships for Australian operations, and building them in shipyards with no recent warship construction experience.[25] The ANAO report also criticised designer Navantia and the shipyards involved in block construction over poor drawings, repeated errors, and bad building practices.[25] As a result of further delays and growing costs, the Hobart-class destroyer project was added to the government's "Projects of Concern" list in June 2014.[34] Follow-up government reports identified unrealistic time and cost estimates as additional factors.[27] The overarching alliance concept has been repeatedly denounced, with no effective management structure or entity in charge, (allowing for repeated blame-passing between the individual alliance partners, Navantia, and the subcontracted shipyards), and the DMO locked in a contradictory role (simultaneously acting as supplier, build partner, and customer).[25][26][27]

NUSHIP Brisbane in October 2018
Brisbane moored alongside in Sydney just prior to her commissioning in October 2018

Hobart's keel was laid down on 6 September 2012, and the ship was launched on 23 May 2015, with 76% of construction complete.[33][35][36] Brisbane was laid down on 3 February 2014, and by October 2015 was 68% complete.[37][38] Sydney was laid down on 19 November 2015 (two weeks after the Adelaide-class frigate of the name was decommissioned, and on the anniversary of the loss of the second Sydney during World War II), with block fabrication due to complete in early 2016.[39][40]

Originally, the Hobart-class destroyers were to be operational between December 2014 and June 2017.[4] In September 2012, the ongoing delays prompted revision of the entry-to-service dates to March 2016, September 2017, and March 2019.[33] In May 2015, the DMO announced additional schedule slippage, with Hobart to be handed over to the RAN in June 2017, Brisbane due in September 2018, and Sydney by December 2019.[27][41] The original contract cost was A$8 billion for the three ships.[9] By March 2014, the project was running A$302 million over budget.[25] By May 2015, this had increased to A$800 million, with a predicted minimum cost overrun by project end of A$1.2 billion.[27][41]

In February 2018, the Hobart-class was removed from the "Projects of Concern" list, after long-term reform arrangements were put in place.[42] In May 2018, the third and final Hobart-class ship, Sydney, was launched by the Royal Australian Navy.[43]


Name Pennant number Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Hobart DDG 39 ASC Pty Ltd, Osborne 6 September 2012 23 May 2015 23 September 2017 Active
Brisbane DDG 41 3 February 2014 15 December 2016 27 October 2018 Active
Sydney DDG 42 19 November 2015 19 May 2018 late 2019 (planned) Fitting out

See also


  1. ^ "The Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer: Welcome to the fleet" (PDF). lockheedmartin.com. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b Gulber, Growth in Strength, p. 4
  3. ^ a b c Gulber, Growth in Strength, p. 5
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah Pengelley, Aussie rules
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Brown, Spanish designs are Australia's choice for warship programmes
  6. ^ a b Department of Defence, Preferred designer chosen for AWD contract
  7. ^ Shackleton, Choices and consequences
  8. ^ Walters, Navy wants upgrade capacity for destroyers
  9. ^ a b c d e f Kerr, Australia seeks to extend AWD options
  10. ^ a b c Thornhill, Force 2030, pp. 10–1
  11. ^ a b c Thornhill, The Case for the Fourth Air Warfare Destroyer pp. 9-10
  12. ^ Kerin, Fourth destroyer still an option: Smith
  13. ^ Department of Defence, Next generation of naval ships to reflect a rich history of service
  14. ^ Andrew, AWD, Hobart, MFU or DDGH – What's in a name?
  15. ^ Time to bring back the Pride, in The Navy, p. 2
  16. ^ a b c d Gulber, Growth in Strength, p. 8
  17. ^ Thornhill, Force 2030, pp. 9–10
  18. ^ Gulber, Growth in Strength, p. 7
  19. ^ Australian Associated Press, Ballistic missile system 'moving closer'
  20. ^ Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, The Hobart Class – Characteristics
  21. ^ Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, Project Overview
  22. ^ a b c Grevatt, AWD Alliance admits destroyer contract hit by construction 'difficulties'
  23. ^ a b c Grevatt, NQEA loses block-building deal for Australian destroyers
  24. ^ a b c Stewart, $8bn navy flagship founders after construction bungle
  25. ^ a b c d e f McPhedran, Navy warships project heading for cost blowout
  26. ^ a b c d Greene, Companies building multi-billion-dollar warships feared defects would damage their reputations, leaked documents show
  27. ^ a b c d e Sheridan, Warships cost blows out to $9bn
  28. ^ Stewart, BAE shipyard to blame for destroyer delays: Defence
  29. ^ Ferguson, G (2011). Air Warfare Destroyer, The cost of Defence: ASPI Budget brief: 2011–2012, page CCXVI. Canberra: Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
  30. ^ a b Stewart, Overdue and over budget
  31. ^ a b Royal Australian Navy, Changes to Air Warfare Destroyer Construction Program
  32. ^ Thornhill, Force 2030, p. 11
  33. ^ a b c Cullen, Work on $8bn destroyer fleet delayed
  34. ^ Department of Defence Ministers, Air Warfare Destroyer added to Projects of Concern list
  35. ^ Starick, First look aboard Adelaide-built air warfare destroyer, the Hobart
  36. ^ Radio Australia, Air Warfare Destroyer project: HMAS Hobart launched, SA Premier calls on Government to trust workers with next generation submarines
  37. ^ Australian Associated Press, 'Adelaide keel ceremony for destroyer
  38. ^ Naval-technology.com, HMAS Hobart construction costs overrun by $870m, says AWD Alliance
  39. ^ "One keel closer to fruition". Navy News. Royal Australian Navy. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  40. ^ "BAE delivers two blocks to Royal Australian Navy's AWD programme". Naval-technology.com. Kable. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  41. ^ a b McPhedran, Destroyer project now three years behind schedule
  42. ^ Dominguez, Gabriel (1 February 2018). "Australia removes Air Warfare Destroyer project from 'concern list'". IHS Jane's 360. London. Archived from the original on 2 February 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  43. ^ Dominguez, Gabriel (22 May 2018). "Australia launches third and final Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyer". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 22 May 2018.


Journal articles
  • Andrew, Gordon (September 2010). "AWD, Hobart, MFU or DDGH – What's in a name?". Semaphore. 2010 (7). Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  • Brown, Nick (28 June 2007). "Spanish designs are Australia's choice for warship programmes". International Defence Review.
  • Grevatt, Jon (30 June 2009). "NQEA loses block-building deal for Australian destroyers". Jane's Navy International.
  • Grevatt, Jon (26 October 2010). "AWD Alliance admits destroyer contract hit by construction 'difficulties'". Jane's Defence Industry.
  • Gulber, Abraham (October 2009). "Growth in Strength: The Hobart class AWD". The Navy. 71 (4): 4–8.
  • Kerr, Julian (25 September 2008). "Australia seeks to extend AWD options". Jane's Defence Weekly.
  • Pengelley, Rupert (26 September 2011). "Aussie rules: air warfare destroyers push boundaries". Jane's Navy International.
  • Shackleton, David (February 2007). "Choices and consequences: choosing the AWD design". Australian Defence Magazine: 20–24.
  • "Time to bring back the Pride". The Navy. 69 (4): 2. October 2007.
  • Thornhill, Roger (October 2006). "The Case for the Fourth Air Warfare Destroyer". The Navy. 68 (4): 9–14.
  • Thornhill, Roger (July 2009). "Force 2030: The Defence White Paper". The Navy. 71 (3): 8–13.
News articles
Press releases

External links

5"/54 caliber Mark 45 gun

The 5-inch/54 caliber (Mk 45) lightweight gun is a U.S. naval artillery gun mount consisting of a 127 mm (5 in) L54 Mark 19 gun on the Mark 45 mount. Originally designed and built by United Defense, it is now manufactured by BAE Systems Land & Armaments after the former was acquired.

The latest 5-inch/62 caliber version consists of a longer barrel L62 Mark 36 gun fitted on the same Mark 45 mount. The gun is designed for use against surface warships, anti-aircraft and shore bombardment to support amphibious operations. The gun mount features an automatic loader with a capacity of 20 rounds. These can be fired under full automatic control, taking a little over a minute to exhaust those rounds at maximum fire rate. For sustained use, the gun mount would be occupied by a six-man crew (gun captain, panel operator, and four ammunition loaders) below deck to keep the gun continuously supplied with ammunition.


The AN/SPY-1 is a United States Navy 3D radar system manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The array is a passive electronically scanned system and is a key component of the Aegis Combat System. The system is computer controlled, using four complementary antennas to provide 360 degree coverage. The system was first installed in 1973 on USS Norton Sound and entered active service in 1983 as the SPY-1A on USS Ticonderoga. The -1A was installed on ships up to CG-58, with the -1B upgrade first installed on USS Princeton in 1986. The upgraded -1B(V) was retrofitted to existing ships from CG-59 up to the last, USS Port Royal.

Adelaide-class frigate

The Adelaide class is a ship class of six guided missile frigates constructed in Australia and the United States of America for service in the Royal Australian Navy. The class is based on the United States Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, but modified for Australian requirements. The first four vessels were built in the United States, while the other two were constructed in Australia.

The first ship entered service in November 1980, and one of the six ships is active as of 2019. Canberra and Adelaide were paid off in 2005 and 2008 respectively, and later sunk as dive wrecks: their decommissioning was to offset the cost of a A$1 billion weapons and equipment upgrade to the remaining four ships. Sydney was decommissioned in late 2015, after spending most of the year as a moored training ship. Darwin was decommissioned in late 2017 and Newcastle in June 2019. The Hobart-class air-warfare destroyers have been progressively replacing the last four frigates from 2016 onwards.

Fleet Base East

The Fleet Base East is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) major fleet base that comprises several naval establishments and facilities clustered around Sydney Harbour, centred on HMAS Kuttabul. The Fleet Base East extends beyond the borders of Kuttabul and includes the commercially-operated dockyard at Garden Island, and adjacent wharf facilities at nearby Woolloomooloo, east of the Sydney central business district in New South Wales, Australia. Fleet Base East is one of two major facilities of the RAN, the other facility being the Fleet Base West.

Confusingly, naval personnel often use the term Fleet Base East to mean the naval wharves at Garden Island where ships assigned to the Fleet Base usually berth but the official designation includes several other bases and facilities as well.

General Electric LM2500

The General Electric LM2500 is an industrial and marine gas turbine produced by GE Aviation. The LM2500 is a derivative of the General Electric CF6 aircraft engine.

The LM2500 is available in 3 different versions:

The LM2500 delivers 33,600 shaft horsepower (shp) (25,060 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 37 percent at ISO conditions. When coupled with an electric generator, it delivers 24 MW of electricity at 60 Hz with a thermal efficiency of 36 percent at ISO conditions.

The improved, 3rd generation, LM2500+ version of the turbine delivers 40,500 shp (30,200 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 39 percent at ISO conditions. When coupled with an electric generator, it delivers 29 MW of electricity at 60 Hz with a thermal efficiency of 38 percent at ISO conditions.

The latest, 4th generation, LM2500+G4 version was introduced in November 2005 and delivers 47,370 shp (35,320 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 39.3 percent at ISO conditions.As of 2004, the U.S. Navy and at least 29 other navies had used a total of more than one thousand LM2500/LM2500+ gas turbines to power warships. Other uses include hydrofoils, hovercraft and fast ferries.

In 2012, GE developed an FPSO version to serve the oil and gas industry's demand for a lighter, more compact version to generate electricity and drive compressors to send natural gas through pipelines.

Guided missile destroyer

A guided-missile destroyer is a destroyer designed to launch guided missiles. Many are also equipped to carry out anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface operations. The NATO standard designation for these vessels is DDG. Nations vary in their use of destroyer D designation in their hull pennant numbering, either prefixing or dropping it altogether. The U.S. Navy has adopted the classification DDG in the American hull classification system.

In addition to the guns, a guided-missile destroyer is usually equipped with two large missile magazines, usually in vertical-launch cells. Some guided-missile destroyers contain powerful radar systems, such as the United States’ Aegis Combat System, and may be adopted for use in an anti-missile or ballistic-missile defense role. This is especially true of navies that no longer operate cruisers, so other vessels must be adopted to fill in the gap.

HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41)

HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41), named after the city of Brisbane, Queensland, is the second ship of the Hobart-class air warfare destroyers used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

HMAS Sydney (FFG 03)

HMAS Sydney (FFG 03) was an Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The frigate was one of six modified Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates ordered from 1977 onwards, and the third of four to be constructed in the United States of America. Laid down and launched in 1980, Sydney was named for the capital city of New South Wales, and commissioned into the RAN in 1983.

During her operational history, Sydney has been involved in Australian responses to the 1987 Fijian coups d'état and the Bougainville uprising. The frigate was deployed to the Persian Gulf on five occasions in support of United States operations during the Gulf War, War in Afghanistan, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and has completed two round-the-world voyages.

Sydney was originally expected to remain in service until 2013, but was retained in service until 2015; ceasing active deployments on 27 February and serving as a moored training ship until her decommissioning on 7 November. The frigate will be replaced in service by a Hobart-class destroyer.

Hunter-class frigate

The Hunter-class frigate is a future class of frigates for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to replace the Anzac-class. Construction is expected to begin in 2020, with the first of nine vessels to enter service in the late 2020s. The Program is expected to cost AU$35 billion and a request for tender was released in March 2017 to three contenders: Navantia, Fincantieri, and BAE Systems as part of a competitive evaluation process.The genesis of the Future Frigate Program came in 2009, when the Rudd Government’s Defence White Paper signalled Australia’s intent to "acquire a fleet of eight new Future Frigates, which will be larger than the Anzac-class vessels" with a focus on anti-submarine warfare. With an initial tender expected in 2019–20, in 2014 the Abbott Government announced that work had been brought forward, funding a preliminary design study focussed on integrating a CEAFAR Radar and Saab combat system on the hull of the Hobart-class destroyer.

Following a report by the RAND Corporation into options for Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry, the Government announced an $89 billion naval shipbuilding plan. This plan brought the schedule of the Future Frigate Program forward by three years and announced a "continuous onshore build program to commence in 2020" in South Australia. A competitive evaluation process was announced in April 2016, with Navantia, Fincantieri, and BAE Systems revealed as the contenders to design the ships.

In June 2018, the BAE Systems Type 26 was selected as the winner.

List of ship launches in 2015

The list of ship launches in 2015 includes a chronological list of ships launched in 2015.

Mark 41 Vertical Launching System

The Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (Mk 41 VLS) is a shipborne missile canister launching system which provides a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats. The Vertical Launch System (VLS) concept was derived from work on the Aegis Combat System.


Navantia is a Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company, which offers its services to both military and civil sector. It is the fifth-largest shipbuilder in Europe, and the ninth-largest in the world with shipyards around the globe.

Astilleros Españoles SA had been created in 1967 by merging the Basque shipyards of Euskalduna, La Naval de Sestao and Astilleros de Cádiz. In July 2000 it merged with the public naval shipyards, Empresa Nacional Bazán, to form IZAR. In March 2005 Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI) merged the naval wing of IZAR into Navantia.

Procurement programme of the Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy, although a significant force in the Asia-Pacific region, is nonetheless classed as a medium-sized navy. Its fleet is based around two main types of surface combatant, with limited global deployment and air power capability. However, in 2009, a white paper, Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030, was produced by the Australian government which set out a programme of defence spending that will see significant improvements to the RAN's fleet and capabilities.

Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force, called the Commonwealth Naval Forces. Originally intended for local defence, the navy was granted the title of 'Royal Australian Navy' in 1911, and became increasingly responsible for defence of the region.

Britain's Royal Navy’s Australian Squadron was assigned to the Australia Station and provided support to the RAN. The Australian and New Zealand governments helped to fund the Australian Squadron until 1913, while the Admiralty committed itself to keeping the Squadron at a constant strength. The Australian Squadron ceased on 4 October 1913, when RAN ships entered Sydney Harbour for the first time.The Royal Navy continued to provide blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of the Second World War. Then, rapid wartime expansion saw the acquisition of large surface vessels and the building of many smaller warships. In the decade following the war, the RAN acquired a small number of aircraft carriers, the last of which was decommissioned in 1982.

Today, the RAN consists of 48 commissioned vessels, 3 non-commissioned vessels and over 16,000 personnel. The navy is one of the largest and most sophisticated naval forces in the South Pacific region, with a significant presence in the Indian Ocean and worldwide operations in support of military campaigns and peacekeeping missions. The current Chief of Navy is Vice Admiral Michael Noonan.

Spanish frigate Álvaro de Bazán

Álvaro de Bazán is the lead ship of the Álvaro de Bazán class of air defence frigates entering service with the Spanish Navy. She is named after Admiral Álvaro de Bazán.

Type 052D destroyer

The Type 052D destroyer (NATO/OSD Luyang III-class destroyer) is a class of guided missile destroyers in the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force. The Type 052D is a larger variant of the Type 052C; the Type 052D uses a canister-type, instead of revolver-type, vertical launching system (VLS) and has flat-panelled active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The new VLS is not limited to anti-air missiles, making the Type 052D China's first dedicated multi-role destroyer.Chinese media informally calls the Type 052D the Chinese Aegis, portraying it as a peer of contemporary United States Navy ships equipped with the Aegis Combat System. The appearance of the Type 052D, with flat-panelled radar and canister-based VLS, has encouraged the moniker's use.

Vertical launching system

A vertical launching system (VLS) is an advanced system for holding and firing missiles on mobile naval platforms, such as surface ships and submarines. Each vertical launch system consists of a number of cells, which can hold one or more missiles ready for firing. Typically, each cell can hold a number of different types of missiles, allowing the ship flexibility to load the best set for any given mission. Further, when new missiles are developed, they are typically fitted to the existing vertical launch systems of that nation, allowing existing ships to use new types of missiles without expensive rework. When the command is given, the missile flies straight up long enough to clear the cell and the ship, and then turns on course.

A VLS allows surface combatants to have a greater number of weapons ready for firing at any given time compared to older launching systems such as the Mark 13 single-arm and Mark 26 twin-arm launchers, which were fed from behind by a magazine below the main deck. In addition to greater firepower, VLS is much more damage tolerant and reliable than the previous systems, and has a lower radar cross-section (RCS). The U.S. Navy now relies exclusively on VLS for its guided missile destroyers and cruisers.

The most widespread vertical launch system in the world is the Mark 41, developed by the United States Navy. More than 11,000 Mark 41 VLS missile cells have been delivered, or are on order, for use on 186 ships across 19 ship classes, in 11 navies around the world. This system currently serves with the US Navy as well as the Australian, Danish, Dutch, German, Japanese, New Zealand, Norwegian, South Korean, Spanish, and Turkish navies, while others like the Greek Navy preferred the similar Mark 48 system.The advanced Mark 57 vertical launch system is used on the new Zumwalt-class destroyer. The older Mark 13 and Mark 26 systems remain in service on ships that were sold to other countries such as Taiwan and Poland.

When installed on an SSN (nuclear-powered attack submarine), a VLS allows a greater number and variety of weapons to be deployed, compared with using only torpedo tubes.

Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate

The Álvaro de Bazán class (also known as the F100 class of frigates) are a class of Aegis combat system-equipped air defence frigates in service with the Spanish Navy. The vessels were built by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia in Ferrol, with the class named for Admiral Álvaro de Bazán. In February 2018, it was announced that a design based on the class was selected as one of five finalists for the U.S. Navy's FFG(X) program.

The ships are fitted with American Aegis weapons technology allowing them to track hundreds of airborne targets simultaneously as part of its air defence network. The F100 Álvaro de Bazán-class multi-role frigates are one of the few non-US warships to carry the Aegis Combat System and its associated AN/SPY-1 radar. Japan's Kongō class, South Korea's Sejong the Great class, the F100-derived Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen class of frigates also use the Aegis system.

The class are also the basis of the Australian Hobart-class destroyer (previously known as the "Air Warfare Destroyer"). The Australian government announced in June 2007 that, in partnership with Navantia, three F100 vessels will be built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with the first due for delivery in 2014 ,however this was delayed until 2017 when lead ship HMAS Hobart was commisioned. She was joined in late 2018 by sister ship, HMAS Brisbane. This will be followed by HMAS Sydney in late 2019.

The Australian Government also confirmed in April 2016 that a modified F100 class was one of three vessels shortlisted to replace the Anzac-class frigates currently in service with the RAN. As of December 2017, it is one of three submitted proposals for Canada's Single Class Surface Combatant Project program.In both cases the Type 26 frigate won the competition.

The Álvaro de Bazán-class frigates are the first modern vessels of the Spanish Navy to incorporate ballistic resistant steel in the hull, along with the power plants being mounted on anti-vibration mounts to reduce noise and make them less detectable by submarines. The original contract for four ships was worth €1,683m but they ended up costing €1,810m. As of 2010 it was estimated that the final vessel, F-105 would cost €834m (~US$1.1bn).

Hobart-class destroyers


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