AUSTRALIA’S second next-generation warship has been launched in South Australia.
The Australian Navy’s latest vessel Brisbane was officially named and launched this morning at Techport, Australia’s premier naval industry hub.
Brisbane is the second of three warships built in Adelaide as part of the most complex defence project in Australia's history – an $8 billion collaboration between ASC, Raytheon and the Department of Defence.
The christening follows the successful Builder Sea Trials of the first warship Hobart in September.
Techport is also expected to be where 12 Shortfin Barracuda submarines will be built by French shipbuilder DCNS for the Royal Australian Navy.
Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance General Manager Lloyd Beckett said the launch was a significant moment in the AWD project, marking the Alliance’s return to cost and schedule.
“Brisbane has benefited from the lessons learned by the Hobart team and we continue to leverage further improvement into both Brisbane and Sydney,” he said.
“Systems completion and testing are significantly advanced on Brisbane, enabling the ships generators to be lit off in two months, in February, and combat system light off in four months, in April.”
He said Brisbane was more than 10 per cent complete than Hobart was at its launch last year, with more 40 tonnes of additional fitting installed including all combat systems compartments.
More than 4000 people were present at the launch of Brisbane including members from Governemnt, Naval and Defence industry dignitaries, AWD Alliance employees and their families, as well as the ship’s sponsor Robyn Shackleton whose husband was the former Chief of Navy and HMAS Brisbane II Commanding Officer.
The new Brisbane destroyer is the third ship in the Australian Navy to share the same name.
Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance General Manager Lloyd Beckett speaking to the 4000 guests and representatives who attended the launch.
The ship is 146.7m long and has a top speed of more than 28 knots (52km/h), a range of about 5000 nautical miles and can accommodate more than 200 personnel.
The key combat system specifications include Command Information Centre, Combat System Equipment Rooms, Direct Support Element Operations, and Communication spaces has occurred in addition to the successful installation of the last of the ship’s four AN/SPY-1D(V) Phased Array Radars.
It will also carry a range of weapons, detection and electronic warfare systems on board, which include an Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7.1, SPQ Horizon Search Radar, 48 vertical launch missile cells, an Mk 45 5" 62 Calibre gun for coastal operations and two quad launchers of anti-ship HARPOON weapon systems.
Next year, the AWD program will include the completion of Acceptance Sea Trials for Hobart, Builder’s sea trials for Brisbane and hull consolidation for the third destroyer, Sydney.
South Australian premier Jay Weatherill said the launch of Brisbane and the progress of the AWD program demonstrated the quality of the state’s defence industry.
“The South Australian Government is serious about supporting and growing the defence industry in South Australia. Today’s launch is proof of South Australia’s world-class shipbuilding infrastructure and high-end skills base,” he said.
“The fact that ships two and three of the Air Warfare Destroyer program have been able to progress with significant efficiency gains from the first ship demonstrates the benefit of a continuous naval shipbuilding program.”