Hobart Class Ships: Aussie Anti-Air Umbrella
Dec 9/14: Reforming the reform. Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann and Minister for Defence David Johnston make a joint announcement to address the state and future of the program. BAE Systems, Navantia SA, and Raytheon Australia are asked for increased project management involvement during an interim period until the end of July 2015. The government is told that “the schedule overruns are closer to 30 months for ships one and two and about three years for ship three.” That’s an additional 9 months beyond the delays discussed during the last restructuring… 6 months ago. As far as getting a new estimate for cost overruns, you’ll have to wait until the end of the interim period.
Sources: Australian government: Reform of Air Warfare Destroyer Program | The Australian: “Defence team given seven months to save air warfare destroyers”.
Under the SEA 4000 Air Warfare Destroyer program, Australia plans to replace its retired air defense destroyers with modern ships that can provide significantly better protection from air attack, integrate with the US Navy and other coalition partners, offer long-range air warfare defense for Royal Australian Navy task groups, and help provide a coordinated air picture for fighter and surveillance aircraft. Despite their name and focus, the ships are multi-role designs, with a “sea control” mission that includes area air defense, advanced anti-submarine operations, and the ability to fight other ships.
The Royal Australian Navy took a pair of giant steps in June 2007, when it selected winning designs for its keystone naval programs: Canberra Class LHD amphibious operations vessels, and Hobart Class “air warfare destroyers.” Spain’s Navantia made an A$ 11 billion clean sweep, winning both the A$ 3 billion Canberra Class LHD and the A$ 8 billion Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer contracts. The new AWD ships were scheduled to begin entering service with the Royal Australian Navy in 2013, but that date has now slipped to 2016 or so. A 2014 ANAO report examines why – and the answers aren’t pretty.
SEA 4000: The Program
Australia’s Hobart Class AWD
SEA 4000: Industrial
SEA 4000: Contracts & Key Events
2012 – 2013
2004 – 2005
Appendix A: The SEA 4000 Design Competition
Appendix B: SEA 4000 Program Phase Organization
Additional Readings & Sources
Background: The Hobart Class
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