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AWD program reaches new milestone

Monday, 30 January 2017

The first Air Warfare Destroyer, Hobart, today commenced the next phase of sea trials, undertaking testing of combat, communications and additional platform systems.

Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith congratulated everyone involved in the project on the milestone and said that it was another demonstration of South Australia’s strong shipbuilding capabilities.

The project is being delivered by the AWD Alliance, made up of the Australian Government through the Department of Defence, lead shipbuilder ASC Pty Ltd, and mission systems integrator Raytheon Australia, with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia bringing an experienced shipbuilding management team to the AWD Alliance.

The commencement of these acceptance sea trials follows the launch of second destroyer Brisbane in December last year and builders sea trials for Hobart in September 2016.

Background

The ships Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney are the three future destroyers being developed under the Air Warfare Destroyer program. Jobs on the Air Warfare Destroyer program peaked at 2100 locally and a further 900 jobs Australia-wide.

The Common User Facility (CUF) at Techport Australia is owned and operated by the State Government through Defence SA and supports the delivery of the Air Warfare Destroyer program.

The CUF is a world-class ship building and repair facility with the largest capacity shiplift in the southern hemisphere. Staff at Defence SA’s CUF support the project by providing and maintaining the shipbuilding infrastructure; ensuring the provision of all services and utilities to the AWD program (where they have exceeded their KPIs since commencing in 2010); and providing services in the transfer of ships (docking/launch).

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith

Congratulations to all  involved in the Air Warfare Destroyer program, including ASC, Raytheon Australia, the Department of Defence and Navantia. I also acknowledge the excellent efforts of the small team of South Australian Government workers from Defence SA who have played an important role in the project’s success.

This milestone is further evidence of South Australia’s capabilities and world-class naval shipbuilding facilities at Techport Australia. We look forward to continued success through the eventual delivery of the AWD program to the Royal Australian Navy later this year and in our upcoming programs.

South Australian workers and industry have successfully delivered some of the most complex projects in Australia’s history and this pedigree is set to continue with Offshore Patrol Vessels, Future Frigates and Future Submarines all commencing at Techport Australia.

These programs are set to transform our economy and the South Australian Government maintains its commitment to working with Defence and industry to maximise local industry involvement in the supply chain.