Launch of final Air Warfare Destroyer marks a decade of Australian shipbuilding and integration

Adelaide, 19 May 2018

Today’s launch of the third and final Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), Sydney, is a further demonstration of the sovereign shipbuilding industry and combat systems integration capability that has been built by the AWD program over the past decade.

Sydney has now joined the second AWD, Brisbane, alongside the wharf at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia.

AWD Program Manager Commodore (CDRE) Craig Bourke congratulated the workforce on achieving this significant milestone. “Over the past ten years, we have seen more than 5,000 people and 1,500 suppliers contribute millions of hours of effort to the AWD program – the most complex defence project ever undertaken in Australia.”

“The complexity of this project is reflected in the sophistication of the AWDs – these warships will provide a true step-change in capability for the Australian Defence Force. As the most potent warships Australia has ever possessed, all three destroyers feature an advanced anti-submarine warfare capability, state-of-the-art radar technology and an air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at an extended range,” said CDRE Bourke.

AWD Alliance General Manager Paul Evans also acknowledged the complexity of the AWD program and emphasised the cooperative role required between industry and Defence to deliver this capability.

“The AWD program is a further demonstration of the important role that industry plays as a fundamental input into capability for Defence. This sovereign shipbuilding and combat systems integration industry that has been built through the AWD program has helped us exceed our Australian Industry Capability targets by almost 20 per cent,” said Mr Evans.

“Together, the AWD Alliance has worked to transform a brownfield site into a functioning shipyard that has continued to improve processes, skills and efficiency. This is a credit to the 1,600 highly skilled people still actively working on the AWD program today – from pipefitters and welders to program managers, systems integrators, procurement officers and administrators.”

Raytheon Australia Managing Director Michael Ward welcomed the launch of Sydney and commented on the sovereign combat systems integration capability that the company has built over the past decade through the AWD program.

“As Australia’s largest and most capable combat systems integrator, Raytheon Australia has a highly skilled South Australian workforce, which includes more than 350 combat system integrators, engineers and program managers working as part of the AWD Alliance team currently delivering Australia’s most lethal and sophisticated warships.”

“Raytheon Australia has worked closely with the Commonwealth to architect, design, test and integrate Australia’s most advanced and complex combat system on time and on budget. The AWD combat system integration activities represent some of the most advanced and complex engineering and project management skills in this country.”

“Today’s milestone is a credit to the AWD workforce and is a reflection of our long-term investment to build a local combat system integration capability. The success of the combat system integration activity is a source of tremendous pride for Raytheon Australia. Not only have we performed admirably on this project but we have built for Australia a national asset in combat system integration,” said Mr Ward.

ASC Shipbuilding Acting CEO Jim Cuthill said the launch of Sydney represents the capability of Australia’s shipbuilding industry in building highly capable and complex warships for the Royal Australian Navy. “The launch of the third destroyer Sydney marks a decade of hard work, commitment and collaboration by ASC Shipbuilding and its AWD Alliance partners,” said Mr Cuthill.

“With the building of each ship, the ASC Shipbuilding workforce has demonstrated continuous improvement and innovation – I congratulate the workforce on building this impressive warship, and the two that came before it,” he said.

Navantia Australia’s Chairman Warren King said Sydney and her sister ships represent the capability of the Australian defence industry. “Navantia Australia is very proud of our role as ship designer of these state-of-the-art warships and as shipbuilding management services provider for the AWD Alliance,” said Mr King.

“The launch of Sydney, the third of her class today, is a significant milestone for us as the AWD program signalled the beginning of Navantia’s relationship with the Royal Australian Navy and Australian industry. Since entering service in late 2017, HMAS Hobart has continually established herself as the Royal Australian Navy’s most capable and advanced warship.

“The Hobart class destroyers not only deliver revolutionary air defence capabilities against advanced aircraft and cruise missile threats, but these formidable warships are also providing the Navy with unsurpassed anti-submarine warfare capabilities. Sydney, together with her sister ships, HMAS Hobart and Brisbane, are true examples of Australian defence industry capability – designed for Australia and built by Australians,” said Mr King.

For further information contact:

Danielle DeSantis, AWD Alliance Communications Director
M: +61 434 315 353   E:
Proudly Building Australia’s Air Warfare Capability