Third Air Warfare Destroyer launched
Raytheon Australia’s highly skilled combat system workforce celebrate success
Sydney, the third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, launched on Saturday, 19 May, at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. The milestone event brought the Royal Australian Navy one step closer to having three AWDs operating in its fleet.
The occasion also marked a milestone for Raytheon Australia, an integral member of the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance. Raytheon Australia integrated Australia’s most advanced combat system into the AWDs. It was highly complex work that involved the installation of ten major subsystems, including the Aegis Weapon System, and the associated delivery of more than 3,500 major pieces of combat system equipment.
“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,” said AWD Program Manager Commodore Craig Bourke. “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.”
The AWDs are equipped with the Cooperative Engagement Capability system, enabling United States and Australian warships to share targeting data in real time. Australia is the first international partner outside of the U.S. to gain access to this technology.
“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.
Raytheon Australia’s involvement in the Government’s AWD reform strategy helped to realise productivity improvements of 60 per cent from the first to the third ship in the shipbuilding element of the AWD program.
“Raytheon’s work as the Combat System Integrator has been delivered on time and on budget,” said Michael Ward, managing director of Raytheon Australia. “There are lessons that have been learnt through this program, and those lessons will deliver real benefits to future complex naval programs in Australia.”