The Navy has celebrated major vessel milestones with the future HMAS Sydney (pictured) completing trials and its two Landing Helicopter Docks achieving final operational capability.
Sydney, the third and final ship being delivered by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance in Adelaide, is on track to be delivered to the Navy in February 2020 after completing sea trials.
Defence minister Linda Reynolds said: “Sydney will enter into service early next year, and with her sister-ships HMA Ships Hobart and Brisbane, they will be the most potent warships to date.
“By using a combination of Australian and globally proven technologies, these highly capable warships are truly world-class and will allow us to work even closer with our allies.”
Meanwhile Reynolds announced today that HMA Ships Adelaide and Canberra are ready to be deployed on amphibious operations such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and amphibious warfare.
At 230-metres long and with a speed of more than 20 knots, the 27,500 tonne ships are home-ported at Garden Island, Sydney.
Each ship has the ability to support six helicopters, and four small landing craft which are able to carry Army’s M1A1 main battle tank.
Speculation has been common that the two ships may be converted to operate vertical take off versions of the air force’s new F-35 Lightnng aircraft. A similar conversion is underway in Japan.
However should the government decide on this course, the constructon of purpose-built vessels to accomodate flight deck operations is considered more likely.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan said Navy is closer to achieving a resilient, sustained and integrated Navy supported by our workforce, as outlined in the Plan Pelorus strategy for 2022.
“As we transition to a more technologically advanced Navy, our goal is to be capable of conducting sustained combat operations as part of a Joint Force,”
This story has been edited to correct a reference to ships radars
Picture: Defence/Air Warfare Alliance/Simon Casson
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