Australia — Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Update

Min­is­ter for Defence Stephen Smith and Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today pro­vid­ed an update on the $8 bil­lion Air War­fare Destroy­er (AWD) project.

Air War­fare Destroy­er
Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence 

Aus­tralia is con­struct­ing three AWDs based on a proven design from the Span­ish Navy. When com­plete, the AWD will be one of the most capa­ble war­ships of its size in the world. 

The Gov­ern­ment and Defence have been active­ly work­ing with Defence Indus­try and the AWD Alliance, which is man­ag­ing the AWD project, to deliv­er the project. The AWD Alliance con­sists of ASC, the Defence Materiel Organ­i­sa­tion (DMO) and Raytheon. 

Con­struc­tion of the AWDs involves the fab­ri­ca­tion of 90 sep­a­rate steel blocks, 30 for each ship, as well as three addi­tion­al sonar blocks at a num­ber of ship­yards in Aus­tralia and overseas. 

These blocks will be brought togeth­er by ASC at the South Aus­tralian Government’s Com­mon User Facil­i­ty in Ade­laide where the ships are being assembled. 

Across Aus­tralia 2,100 work­ers are cur­rent­ly work­ing direct­ly on the AWD project with that num­ber expect­ed to increase to 2,400 at the peak of the project next year. 

All blocks for the first AWD, HMAS Hobart (III), are now under con­struc­tion with some in advanced fit-out, and work has also com­menced on 11 blocks for the sec­ond ship, HMAS Bris­bane (III).

In May, Mr Smith and Mr Clare announced the real­lo­ca­tion of the con­struc­tion of up to 18 blocks to assist the project’s sched­ule. The AWD Alliance has now finalised the real­lo­ca­tion of these blocks: 

  • For­gacs (New­cas­tle) – four blocks; 
  • BAE Sys­tems (Mel­bourne) – two blocks; 
  • ASC (Ade­laide) – sev­en blocks; and 
  • Navan­tia (Spain) – five blocks. 

This real­lo­ca­tion is expect­ed to reduce fore­cast delays to the com­ple­tion of the project by up to 12 months. 

The AWD project has achieved a num­ber of impor­tant mile­stones this year. They include: 

  • New Blast and Paint facil­i­ties were com­mis­sioned at ASC and Forgacs; 
  • For­gacs expand­ed into a sec­ond New­cas­tle region shipyard; 
  • Most of the AWD For­eign Mil­i­tary Sales-sourced equip­ment for HMAS Hobart has been trans­port­ed to Aus­tralia and received at the shipyard; 
  • Three shipsets of the Mk 45 gun mounts were deliv­ered in July; 
  • Six Mk 25 Typhoon guns arrived in August – two for each ship; 
  • The first two shipsets of the Aus­tralian Tac­ti­cal Inter­face were deliv­ered in September;
  • Ver­ti­cal Launch Sys­tem mod­ules for HMAS Hobart have been delivered; 
  • Four of six planned builds of AWD Aegis soft­ware have been com­plet­ed, rep­re­sent­ing approx­i­mate­ly 98% of the AWD Aegis soft­ware adap­ta­tion effort by lines of code; 
  • Suc­cess­ful test­ing was con­duct­ed on how the Aegis com­bat sys­tem and Aus­tralian Tac­ti­cal Inter­face work together; 
  • Work has begun on the sus­tain­ment strat­e­gy for the ships includ­ing the recruit­ment of staff and devel­op­ment of a sus­tain­ment plan;
  • AWD’s inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment con­tract worth approx­i­mate­ly $37 mil­lion was signed with Navantia’s divi­sion­al com­pa­ny, FABA Sys­tems.; and 
  • All 17 con­tracts for the pro­cure­ment of the Com­bat Sys­tem have now been implemented. 

In 2012 and 2013, the amount of work and the num­ber of work­ers on this project is expect­ed to increase: 

  • 36 more blocks are due to be con­struct­ed and deliv­ered to ASC
  • The keel blocks of HMAS Hobart and the sec­ond ship HMAS Bris­bane will be laid on the build­ing berth in prepa­ra­tion for consolidation; 
  • Hull inte­gra­tion for HMAS Hobart begins next year and will be com­plet­ed in 2013; 
  • Work will begin on the con­struc­tion of blocks for the third ship, HMAS Syd­ney (V);
  • Com­bat Sys­tem Soft­ware will be for­mal­ly deliv­ered and demon­strat­ed in ear­ly 2012; 
  • Gun weapons sys­tems and radar will be received; and 
  • Tri­als crew train­ing com­mences in 2013. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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