First Air Warfare Destroyer mast delivered
Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly today announced that the 22 metre-high mast for the first Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) had been delivered to the Alliance in Adelaide.
Dr Kelly said the five-storey high mast, delivered by barge from local company, MG Engineering, further underscored Australia’s shipbuilding credentials.
“This is an exciting day for the AWD project with the arrival of the mast for the first ship, Hobart,” Dr Kelly said.
“The mast is one of the most defining features of the destroyers and will house significant elements of the Aegis weapon system, including the navigation radar and the SPQ-9B, or ‘Spook’ horizon-search radar.
“The equipment incorporated into the mast structure will enable the destroyers to search and track targets immediately above the sea surface, such as low-flying aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles.”
Dr Kelly said the AWDs would be the most capable asset the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) had operated once assembly was complete.
“Seeing local Port Adelaide company MG Engineering delivering the first of three 25-tonne masts under its $3.25 million contract makes today’s announcement even more significant MG Engineering has hired an additional 12 production staff to undertake the AWD mast work over a two-year period, taking their total staff to 45,” Dr Kelly said.
“The first mast was transported by barge down the Port River in a horizontal position and then unloaded in a logistical effort taking about three hours.
“Further work will now be carried out on the mast by the AWD Alliance at the Common User Facility adjacent to the ASC shipyard, prior to being consolidated onto the first destroyer.”
The AWD Alliance, made up of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), lead shipbuilder ASC and mission systems integrator Raytheon Australia, is responsible for delivering the ships to the RAN.
Building the AWDs involves the construction of 90 separate steel blocks – 30 for each ship – as well as three additional sonar blocks.
The ships will provide the Navy with a highly capable asset; a warship able to assume a leading command and control role within the Australian Defence Force and coalition forces.
Source : MoD Australia