The Royal Australian Navy has commissioned the first of three new Air Warfare Destroyers, HMAS Hobart, in a traditional ceremony in Sydney.

HMAS Hobart will be the first of her class of three new warships which will be the first destroyers operated by the Royal Australian Navy since HMAS Brisbane paid off in 2001. They will replace the last four Adelaide class frigates in the Australian fleet.

The formal commissioning ceremony, at Sydney’s Garden Island naval dockyard, was attended by numerous dignitaries including senior military officers, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Defence Minister Senator Payne and the Queen’s representative retired General David Hurley, the Governor of New South Wales.

Based off a Spanish design, the Hobart class destroyers are equipped with the American Aegis combat suite, a 48 cell Mk 41 vertical launching system, two quad-cannister harpoon missile launchers, a Phalanx CIWS and a 5” Mark 45 main gun. Aviation facilities will include accommodation a single MH-60 Romeo helicopter.  

The vessel’s introduction has been a long time coming after a difficult construction period that has led to massive delays and cost blowouts. Originally intended to be built entirely in Australia, with blocks constructed across the country before final assembly at the ASC shipyard in South Australia, issues with the speed and quality of production resulted in some blocks being reallocated including some to the Navantia shipyards in Spain. As a result the initial commissioning scheduled for December 2014 was pushed back some 33 months.

Despite these issues the Minister was quick to praise the shipbuilders, highlighting in her media release that “The commissioning of Hobart is the culmination of the hard work of thousands of Australians who built and delivered the future capability of the Royal Australian Navy. The crew and shipbuilders who have brought this new capability into service are to be congratulated on their achievement.”

The vessel will now undergo a period of workup allowing for further testing and evaluation as she integrates into the fleet. The vessels are expected to fill the air defence role for Australian task groups, likely to be centered around the Canberra class LHDs.

Sister ships Brisbane and Sydney are currently planned to be commissioned mid next year and late in 2019 respectively.

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TH Troll
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TH Troll

What a waste of taxpayers money. Australia’s debt is at a full trillion, they should give up the delision they are a world power and join Britain in the muck of countires not worth anything anymore. Wars are a thing of the past and clearly all that they need are costal patrol vessels and thats it.

In fact I’m going to be writing to the Prime Minister of Australia to tell him what a joke his country is and how outrageous he’s wasted taxpayer money on this murder machine.

David
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David

At least our Type 45s have TWO Phalanx mounts……

Jealous of the Mk41 VLS though……… ??

Matt
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Matt

Great for Australia to have AWD capability once again. Too bad though its with such an outdated ship design.

joe
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joe

Outdated?

Nicky
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Nicky

Outdated? are you freaking kidding me?

Elliott
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Elliott

How so? Latest exportable Aegis system axis to the entire SM missile family plus whatever ever you can cram into the Mk.41 and run a software patch. CODOG propulsion by LM2500 and Caterpillar 16s both of those are very durable and easy to maintain unlike the WR-21. The only thing wrong with the Hobart-class is that Navantia humped the bunk on the technology transfer. That way they could make a few extra Euros for their yards back in Spain. When you factor in local in local inexperience in modern warship construction you of course get skyrocketing costs and delays. After… Read more »

Elliott
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Elliott

access.

Mike Saul
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Mike Saul

I read recently that the Australians have specified the LM2500 for their future frigate, which the T26 is of course a candidate

David Steeper
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Type 26 has no chance it’s too expensive and too british.

The Wookie
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The Wookie

AusGov loves them for some reason – Canberra class, Hobart class – and right now 2 fleet oilers are being built in Spain. As well as being on the shortlist for the Future Frigate program.

canada
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Commonalities in systems, turbines (LM2500 throughout the fleet), training etc will make for greater efficiencies and therefore savings. These ships are a great leap forward for the RAN the evolution of the Hobart proposed by Navantia is an exciting prospect,

Jason Simmons
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Jason Simmons

Apart from the two Cantabria refuellers and 12 LCM-1E’s we have since ordered from Navantia, not to mention of course the Canberra Class LHD’s?

No, how silly of me. Of course you are correct on this matter Elliott. The Royal Australian Navy is unlikely to go anywhere near Navantia again and the T26 is an absolute shoe-in particularly considering the recent news of AEGIS being down-selected as the CMS of choice for the future frigate and the likelihood that this vessel will be equipped with a strong BMD capability…

Shane
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Shane

You mean, aside from the two replenishment ships they’re currently building for the RAN?

Matt
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Matt

I can’t believe the reaction to my ‘outdated’ comment.

This ship looks like something from the 1980s – does it come with a VHS video player? Its power system is a legacy version of the LM2500 with only 17MW per unit and a PESA radar system from god knows when.

It’s better than the nothing they had but will soon be proven as an antique.

Jack Wyatt
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Matt, nice try. As are no doubt aware, the ships are to go to Baseline 9 Aegis with BMD capability. With MK41 strike length VLS x 48, a reliable propulsion system and evolved from a highly successful Spanish design there is a lot to like.

Mike Saul
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Mike Saul

Wonder if the engines work in the warm waters around Australia?

Steve
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Steve

The price appears to be roughly the same as the t45 and fitted armament appears to be roughly the same also. Biggest difference in current fit out appears to be the torpedos, or the absence of them in the t45

It would be interesting to know how well Aegis compares to the Sampson based system and how comparable the SM are vs aster 15/30.

Ben P
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Ben P

Biggest difference is no VLS

Steve
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Steve

Neither vessels are utilizing VLS systems, so it’s not really a difference as of today. HMAS uses tube launched Harpoon exactly as the t45’s.

In theory the t45’s can be upgraded with VLS at some point in the future and so it is just a cost difference, the Hobart’s can be upgraded quicker and for less cost.

Steve
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Steve

At least not utilising it for a capability that the t45 doesn’t already have.

Ben P
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Ben P

VLS can be used for anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine missiles. One involves buying a new missile type and another involves having to drydock and fit a launch tube in to a ship, taking it out of service for a decent length of time, as well as buying the new missiles. The Australian ship has a far greater capability than the type 45.

David Stephen
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David Stephen

Not surre what you mean. Both ships have a 48 cell vls and 8 deck launched ASMs. The often discussed extra vls cells for the Type 45 would really be for ABM and she doesn’t need torpedoes. Sampson and Sea Viper is a more modern and technology superior AAW system compared to the Hobart’s Aegis equivalent.

Steve
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Steve

i assumed he meant strike length VLS tubes for land attack and future anti ship roles.

dadsarmy
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dadsarmy

Matt, I’d love to know why you think it’s an outdated ship design. The only thing I can think of is in terms of decoys, and perhaps its helicopter capability.

STEVEN KIRKLAND
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Why is british manufacturing and brains being constantly gazzumped by that of else where?

Poor state of affairs really.

Our expensive bath tub navy will never grow otherwise.

Dan
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Dan

The only reason the Spanish ships got the nod is because of price. If you look at the maintenance problems they are experiencing with the Hobart class and Canberra class then they are not so effective. At present they spend more time alongside than at sea. Only time will tell if they will ever become an effective fleet unit.

ngatimozart
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ngatimozart

That’s a bit rich. Both the Canberra and Hobart classes are new classes just being introduced into service, so they have problems that crop up just like any new class of ship.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

Ok here are some facts for those posting on this site that know literally zero about ship armaments. The type 45 destroyer has anti air SAMs only in its vl silo. These are Aster 30 and 15s which although good are not able in anyway to perform long range surface strike, land attack, anti ship warfare or anti submarine warfare. The Hobart class has a full strike length mk41 vl system capable of being fitted with SM6 BMD missiles, tomahawk, asroc and harpoon + potentially LRASM in the future. all of which makes the Hobart class a much better blended… Read more »

Steve
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Steve

The have the tubes for potentially adding these extra weapons but they do not have the weapons. It’s not like you can just slot in a different weapon platform, it needs to be interested with the ships tactical systems, which would require a refit. It’s like saying you have a BMW with a max speed of 150mph when it’s factory limited to 120. Agreed the t45 doesnt currently have strike length missiles, but they can be fitted, should the budget come available. As such the differences are just paper ones currently. As to how long it would take to upgrade… Read more »

Steve
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Steve

integrated into the tactical system not interested, stupid autocorrect.

Julian
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Julian

Have we placed the orders for the MK41 for the first 3 T26? If not then I would have thought that if T45 doesn’t get its Mk41 added now then it never will because at the moment the stars seem almost perfectly aligned for that to happen were the MoD to ever give the go ahead. The T45s are all scheduled for extensive work including cutting holes in the hull to rectify the propulsion/power issues so that would be the time to fit Mk41 to them with least disruption to their availability and if we are about to place a… Read more »

BB85
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BB85

I don’t see the Type 45’s ever being equipped with mk41 unless there is a serious escalation with Russia (or the EU :P) It would be too much of an embarrassment for the MOD to explain why they where not equipped with mk41’s in the first place when they where cheaper and offered better more flexibility. I take it the French had the UK over a barrel and told them the cost of enabling Aster to fire from mk41 would quadruple the cost of the missile so buy our VLS instead and we will consider buying something made in Britain… Read more »

ngatimozart
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ngatimozart

The beauty about the Mk-41 VLS is that most of the weapons the RAN use are already integrated on to it hence the RAN don’t have to front up with expensive integration costs. If the RN decides to replace the Sylver VLS on the T-45 DDGs then they will have to front up with the integration costs on some of their current missile types.

Oscar Zulu
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Oscar Zulu

The Australian Government has recently committed to upgrading the Hobart AWDs from the Aegis combat management system’s baseline 8 to baseline 9 (baseline 8 was the latest version available when the AWD design was frozen for production). This is specifically to provide the Hobart Class with an anti-ballistic missile capability ostensibly to counter the North Korean missile threat which is now capable of reaching the Australian continent. This means the introduction of SM3 (and potentially SM6) missiles already used by the USN in this role. Further the Aegis combat management system Baseline 9 has also been mandated for RANs nine… Read more »

BB85
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BB85

I saw that as well, I’d be shocked if the RAN could afford 12 Aegis equipped ships. It would give them the second most powerful air defense fleet in the world.

Oscar Zulu
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Oscar Zulu

I guess it may be shocking from a UK perspective, but the threat from North Korea and with a rising and increasingly bellicose China echoing the rise of Imperial Japan before WWII, the threat is a real and present danger in the Pacific. Australia may well need ‘the second most powerful air defence fleet in the world’. The takeout lesson from Australia’s short military history, and WWII in particular, is that reliance on a ‘great a powerful friend’ half a world away (then UK, now the US), means that they may not be able to come to your aid at… Read more »

ngatimozart
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ngatimozart

That’s the plan; 3 x Hobart Aegis DDG and 9 x Future FFG with Aegis and they will afford it.

tman
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tman

Oscar Zulu is correct in what has been happening. It’s actually a really exciting time for the RAN with all the new toys they have been/are getting. https://www.minister.defence.gov.au/minister/marise-payne/media-releases/joint-media-release-new-approach-naval-combat-systems All of the candidates for the frigate replacements will be large destroyer-sized ships equal in size to the Hobart and as time goes on, it’s looking more likely that will be an expanded Hobart class, though that has yet to be decided. The T26 and FREMM are still in the running and are extremely capable designs but are competing against a modified version of a hull that the local shipbuilders are already… Read more »

Oscar Zulu
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Oscar Zulu

Disagree all you want tman but the Australian Governments stated intention is exactly that – the nine future frigates will have an ABM capability. Following is the verbatim quote for the Australian PM at the announcement. “Recent events in our region have proven that Australia’s future frigates must be equipped to defend Australia from the threat of medium and long-range missile attacks,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the Pacific 17 maritime and naval showcase, referencing North Korea. “We must have the capability to meet and defeat them.” I’d say that is a pretty clear statement of intent wouldn’t you? As… Read more »

tman
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tman

Hi Oscar Zulu, Nice talking! I am largely agreeing with you but you are making a couple of big assumptions… Most of my response was a general reply to a previous commenters’ ‘shock’ that the RAN is currently, and is continuing to make great strides in capability enhancement. It’s particularly impressive given how most ‘western’ fleets are either downsizing or even struggling to maintain current numbers. It’s best not to get too carried away though. The ADF has shown that it prefers more efficient solutions to problems rather than taking the full US approach of trying to platinum plate every… Read more »