Australian Navy begins sea trials of 3rd air warfare destroyer
A handout photo from Australia's Department of Defense shows NUSHIP Sydney sailing for the first time as it commences its Builders Sea Trials near Osborne, Australia, Sep 16, 2019. EPA-EFE HANDOUT/AUSTRALIA DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Sydney, Australia, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Australia has begun the first phase of sea trials of its third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, the Department of Defense said Monday.
During the first phase of the trial, the hull, propulsion and navigation systems of the vessel “Sydney” will be tested at sea, while a more advanced phase of trials will kick off in October to test the combat and communication systems.
Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds praised the hard work put in by the consortium involved in the project, for "delivering the most capable warships ever to be operated by the Royal Australian Navy."
The Australian Navy introduced AWDs “Hobart” and “Brisbane” as part of the program in 2017 and 2018 respectively, while “Sydney” is expected to enter service by 2020.
The destroyers, partly built in Australian shipyards in Adelaide, have been designed by Spanish shipbuilder Navatnia based on its F100 frigate, and equipped with the Aegis combat system, adapted to Australian needs.
The 147-meter (around 480 feet) ships have been produced by the local consortium AWD Alliance, formed by the Australian Ministry of Defense, state-owned ASC (Australian Submarine Corporation) and Raytheon Australia.
The management of the project was commissioned to Navantia in 2015 due to schedule and budget problems, ensuring the ships could be built within Australia as Canberra aims to boost the local shipbuilding industry.
The construction cost of the destroyers amounts to around AU$9 billion ($6.18 billion). EFE-EPA