Australia — First keel block delivered for new Australian warship

Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced the deliv­ery to Ade­laide of the first keel block that will be used to con­struct HMAS Hobart – Australia’s first Air War­fare Destroy­er.

“This is an impor­tant step for­ward in the $8 bil­lion project to con­struct three new war­ships,” Mr Clare said.

Con­struc­tion of the AWDs involves 90 sep­a­rate steel blocks being built at ship­yards in Ade­laide (ASC), Mel­bourne (BAE Sys­tems), New­cas­tle (For­gacs) and Fer­rol, Spain (Navan­tia).

Three sonar blocks are being con­struct­ed in Spain and the Unit­ed King­dom.

“Approx­i­mate­ly 70 blocks will be shipped to Ade­laide over the next four years where they will be con­sol­i­dat­ed into three new war­ships,” Mr Clare said.

Over the next six months it is expect­ed that six blocks will be deliv­ered from Mel­bourne and New­cas­tle to Ade­laide.

This first block weighs around 180 tonnes. It is 18 metres long, 16 metres wide and five metres high and will form part of the keel of HMAS Hobart.

It was loaded on to a barge at BAE System’s Mel­bourne ship­yard on 11 August.

The barge was towed by tug boat to the Com­mon User Facil­i­ty in Ade­laide arriv­ing on 15 August.

Last night it was removed from the barge and trans­port­ed by a large mul­ti-wheeled vehi­cle to the pre-fit-out facil­i­ty.

Fur­ther work on the block includ­ing blast and paint, fit­ting pipes, installing com­mu­ni­ca­tions and elec­tri­cal cables and fit­ting inter­nal walls will now be com­plet­ed.

Two oth­er hull blocks are cur­rent­ly being pre­pared for ship­ment from Mel­bourne to Ade­laide.

Con­struc­tion has begun on all main blocks for the first ship and work has also begun on blocks for the sec­ond ship, HMAS Bris­bane.

Next year work will begin on blocks for the third ship, HMAS Syd­ney and the first ship will start to be con­sol­i­dat­ed in Ade­laide.

Mr Clare thanked the more than 1,000 peo­ple cur­rent­ly work­ing on the ships across the three Aus­tralian ship­yards.

In May, the Gov­ern­ment announced that the AWD Alliance had real­lo­cat­ed con­struc­tion work on the project to reduce the sched­ule risk to both the AWD and Land­ing Heli­copter Dock ship projects.

“The deliv­ery of the first keel block is an impor­tant step for­ward in this project,” Mr Clare said.

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

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