The Acceptance and End of Program Ceremony was presided over by the Australian Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, Deputy Secretary National Naval Shipbuilding, Tony Dalton and Director General Naval Construction Branch, Commodore Steve Tiffen. A large number of VIPs and guests, including Navantia’s Global Chairwoman, Ms Susana de Sarría and Spain’s Ambassador to Australia, Mr Manuel Cacho, also attended it.
Senator Reynolds described the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) or Hobart class Guided Missile Destroyers, as being “in a class of their own. They offer scalable response options for Australia and the best of naval power to the Royal Australian Navy.
“They are magnificent national assets.”
The Air Warfare Destroyer program is the foundation of Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding and integration industry and was delivered under an Alliance-based contract arrangement between the Commonwealth of Australia, represented by the Department of Defence, and industry partners – ASC Shipbuilding and Raytheon Australia, supported by Navantia.
Senator Reynolds commented that “since the wise appointment of Navantia to provide shipbuilding management services, there was a 45% increase in productivity from ship 2 to ship 3, 50% increase in welding and 35% increase in pipe installation.”
Ms de Sarría told attendees “this program has marked a historic milestone for Navantia and for the development of cooperation between the shipbuilding industries, defence organisations and Navies of both countries.
“This AWD program has brought so much more than ever anticipated for Navantia. The mutual sharing of expertise and challenges has been a highly valuable experience for our people, their families and in general for our company.
“Our people have gained expertise with their involvement that is being implemented in the other current Australian programs where we are involved.
“Our commitment with Australia has expanded in time and quality with a firm focus into the future. Navantia Australia was created in 2012, incrementing since then its footprint across Australia and the number of Australian engineers in the company that will contribute to support the RAN capabilities in the upcoming decades. A future in which Navantia feels like a leading actor to the Australian Defence Industry.”
NUSHIP Sydney will now sail to her homeport at Garden Island Sydney to be commissioned late this year and will join sister ships, HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane to provide Navy with new levels of interoperability and lethality.