HMAS Hobart, named after the city of Hobart, Tasmania, was ordered in 2007.
Australia is a large country in the Asia-Pacific region and a country with the leading developed economy in the world. Although Asia is considered to be the focus of the world in the future, but over the years, the region has always had tense issues in territorial disputes between several countries.
Therefore, countries in Asia in recent years have attached great importance to the power of naval forces and continuously procured and modernized naval weapons. The Australian Navy is no exception, this force is being strongly invested by the Australian government to meet the military’s mission requirements in the new situation.
The Hobart-class destroyer was born to meet this requirement, HMAS Hobart is the lead ship of the class with the hull number DDG-39.
Since the last Perth-class destroyer retired in 2001, the Royal Australian Navy has relied on six Adelaide-class and 10 Anzac-class frigates. But, these two types of frigates have limited payload and offshore combat capability, difficult to meet the Royal Australian Navy’s need to maintain a military presence in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
In particular, in recent years, Australia has regularly coordinated with the United States to conduct military activities abroad, the limitations of their naval capabilities were more prominent.
To soon fill the gap of combat power, the Australian Department of Defense implemented a navy modernization project called the “Air Warfare Destroyer” in 2003, including three Hobart-class destroyers. The cost of the construction of the three destroyers estimate about 8 billion Australian dollars.
Participating in the project were companies from close allies of Australia such as USA, UK, and Spain. Weapons experts said the Hobart-class destroyer will be one of the world’s leading modern destroyers.
HMAS Hobart, named after the city of Hobart, Tasmania, was ordered in 2007. Due to technical errors and construction delays, until 2012 the ship was laid down, launched in 2015 and it was not until September 2017 that she officially commissioned.
Hobart’s design is based on the Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate, designed by Navantia. When completed the ship has a full-load displacement of 6,250 tonnes, a length overall of 147.2 metres, a maximum beam of 18.6 metres, and a draught of 5.17 metres.
The Hobart’s propulsion system is the combined diesel or gas turbine arrangement consists of two General Electric Marine model 7LM2500-SA-MLG38 gas turbines, each generating 23,500 horsepower. There are also two Caterpillar 3616 diesel engines, each providing 7,580 horsepower.
These drive two propeller shafts, fitted with Wartsila controllable pitch propellers. The ships’ maximum speed is over 28 knots, with a range of over 5,000 nautical miles at 18 knots.
Although slower than equivalent designs, the greater range and endurance is more important for Australian operating conditions. She is also fitted with a bow thruster. The standard ship’s company is 186-strong, plus 16 additional personnel to operate and maintain the ship’s helicopter, with maximum accommodation for 234.
Sensor and electronic systems
One of Hobart’s top advantages is that she is equipped with the Aegis combat system, which is the latest, most advanced version of the United States for their allies. Aegis is an integrated high-tech combat system, the ship’s sensors are built around this system, with a Lockheed Martin AN/SPY-1D S-band main radar.
Several members of the Air Warfare Destroyer project revealed that the AN/SPY-1D radar equipped on Hobart was capable of detecting and tracking up to 200 targets at once, including all types of enemy missiles and the Ballistic missiles in a range of more than 300 km.
In adition there is a Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B X-band search radar, a Raytheon Mark 99 fire-control system with two continuous wave illuminating radars for missile direction, and two L-3 Communications SAM Electronics X-band navigation radars.
An Ultra Electronics Sonar Systems’ Integrated Sonar System is fitted, which includes a hull-mounted sonar and a towed variable depth sonar built up from a quad directional active-passive receive array, a passive torpedo detection array and a high-powered towed sonar source.
Other sensors include a VAMPIR infrared search-and-track system. Countermeasures include four launchers for Nulka decoy missiles, plus four six-tube launchers for radio frequency, infrared, and underwater acoustic decoys.
The destroyer’s main weapon is a 48-cell Mark 41 Vertical Launch System, capable of firing RIM-66 Standard 2 anti-aircraft missile or quad-packed RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow point-defence missiles, with likely upgrades to carry RIM-174 Standard 6 anti-aircraft missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
This will be supplemented by two four-canister Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers, and a BAE Systems 5-inch calibre Mark 45 gun. Two Mark 32 Mod 9 two-tube launchers fitted with Eurotorp MU90 torpedoes will be carried for anti-submarine warfare.
For close-in defence, an aft-facing Phalanx Close-in weapon system and two M242 Bushmaster autocannons in Typhoon mounts sited on the bridge wings are fitted.
The Hobart features a flight deck and a hangar to enable helicopter and UAV operations. A single MH-60 Romeo Seahawk will be embarked.
Hobart and her sisters are also equipped with a multi-channel data link, transfer and analysis system that allows for continuous updating of real-time information from the US global satellite system, helping The on-board combat system always has the most complete and fastest information about the situation of the surrounding area, within her control. According to military experts, the equipped of three Hobart-class destroyers, combined with US Aegis destroyers in the Asia-Pacific region is more than enough to create a Perfect ballistic missile defense shields not only for the entire territory of Australia but also for a part of US territory.
It can be said that the Hobart destroyer is too versatile, not only to ensure the mission at sea but they also have the ability to defend ballistic missiles for the entire territory of Australia. A point that not all destroyers can handle such complex tasks.
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