A key weapon system training platform for the Royal Australian Navy’s new Hobart class destroyers has reached the final stage of certification. Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Jacob Ward took to the firing panel recently during a weapons certification firing trial of the Mk-25 25-mm Typhoon at West Head Gunnery Range, Flinders Victoria.
The event marked the final stage of the acceptance of the Air Warfare Destroyer Close Range Defence System part task trainer comprising of the Mk-25 Mod 2 Typhoon, operating console and simulator. On completion of the firing certification process, the system will be available to provide initial training to weapon system operators and maintainers posted to the HOBART Class guided missile destroyer (DDG).
Leading Seaman Ward said being part of a project for the most advanced destroyer Australia has ever built was a great experience. «As an electronics technician I am much more used to maintenance and fault diagnosis than I am to testing a brand new capability», he said. «It was a pretty good experience to be part of the team certifying a key weapons system and knowing that it will be used for years to come in sailor training».
The Royal Australian Navy is planned to have three Hobart Class destroyers to provide air defence for accompanying ships in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and for self-protection against missiles and aircraft.
The West Head Gunnery Range occupies an area of approximately 16 hectares on the Mornington Peninsula, and is located approximately 43.5 miles/70 km south of Melbourne. The Range was originally used by the Army in the 1890s as a shore battery and was taken over by the Royal Australian Navy in 1958.
The Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs) will be capable across the full spectrum of joint maritime operations, from area air defence and escort duties, right through to peacetime national tasking and diplomatic missions. The AWD project will provide the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with one of the world’s most capable multi-mission warships.
The AWDs, equipped with the SM-2 missile, will provide air defence for accompanying ships in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and for self-protection against missiles and aircraft. They will also be equipped with the SM-6 long-range anti-aircraft missile, the most advanced weapon of its type, with a range of more than 200 NM/230 miles/370 kilometers.
The missiles combined with the Aegis Weapon System, incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar AN/SPY 1D(V), will effectively extend the air defence protection offered by these superior ships.
The AWDs will carry a helicopter for surveillance and response to support key warfare areas. The surface warfare function will include long-range anti-ship missiles and a naval gun capable of firing extended range munitions in support of land forces.
As they enter service, the AWDs will be equipped with a sophisticated Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), which will enable each vessel to act as a part of a wider «grid» of sensor and weapon platforms that can share surveillance and targeting information.
The Hobart Class AWDs will also conduct undersea warfare and be equipped with modern sonar systems, decoys, surface-launched torpedoes and an array of effective close-in defensive weapons.
These capabilities will ensure the AWDs have the layered defensive and offensive capability required to counter conventional and asymmetric threats. When the Hobart Class AWDs (HMAS Hobart 39, HMAS Brisbane 41 and HMAS Sydney 42) enter service, there will be around 100 Aegis equipped ships operating across the globe.
|Length||481.3 feet/146.7 m|
|Beam||61 feet/18.6 m|
|Draft||23.6 feet/7.2 m|
|Full load displacement||7,000 tonnes|
|Main Engine||36 MW/48,276 hp|
|Top speed||28+ knots/32 mph/52 km/h|
|Range at 18+ knots/21 mph/33 km/h||5,000+ NM/5,779 miles/9,300 km|
|Combat System||Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7.1|
|AN/SPY-1D(V) Phased Array Radar (81 NM/93 miles/150 km)|
|AN/SPQ-9B Horizon Search Radar|
|Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (48 VLS cells: RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM)/Standard Missile-2 (SM-2)/SM-6)|
|Mk-45 Mod.4 5” (127-mm) 62 Calibre Gun (Range: 20 NM/23 miles/37 km)|
|Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control (2 × 4 launchers)|
|Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite|
|Very Short Range Air and Surface Defence|
|Nulka Active Missile Decoy system|
|Integrated Sonar System incorporating a hull mounted and towed array sonar|
|Aviation||Flightdeck and hangar for one helicopter|
|Boats||Two Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs)|