HMAS Hobart (DDGH-39) leads the new three-strong class of guided missile destroyers of the modern Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The class is based on an original Spanish Navy design, the Alvaro de Bazan-class, and is classified as an "air warfare destroyer" by the RAN. HMAS Hobart was ordered on October 4th, 2007 and saw her keel laid down on September 6th, 2012 by builder ASC. Other firms involved in her construction became BAe Systems and Forgacs Marine and Defence. Hobart was launched on May 23rd, 2015 and was commissioned during September 2017 (much-delayed from her original date of December 2014).
The warship displaces 6,890 tons under load and holds an overall length of 483 feet with a beam of 61 feet and a draught of 17 feet. Propulsion stems from a COmbined Diesel Or Gas (CODOG) arrangement involving 2 x General Electric Marine 7LM2500-SA-ML38 diesel engines developing 23,500 horsepower each and 2 x Caterpillar 3616 diesel units developing 7,580 horsepower each. These systems drive power to 2 x shafts under stern, propelling the ship to speeds reaching 29 knots out to ranges of 5,000 nautical miles.
Internally, the vessel is crewed by 186 personnel with an air contingent numbering 16. At the heart of its onboard systems is the Lockheed Martin "AEGIS" AN/SPY-1D(V) S-band radar system. Northrop Grumman provides the AN/SPQ-9B X-band pulse Doppler horizon search radar. The Fire Control System (FCS) is made up of the Raytheon Mark 99 series featuring a pair of continuous wave illuminating radars. The Sagem VAMPIR Infra-Red search-and-track system aids in the arrangement. Various other systems are added for Electronic Warfare (EW) and decoying against inbound enemy aircraft, missiles and torpedoes.
Armament-wise, Hobart fields a collection of projectile-based and missile-based weaponry. 1 x 5" Mark 45 Mod 4 gun is fitted to the turret at the forecastle. A 48-cell Mark 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) can fire RIM-66 Standard 2 or RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles at aerial targets. Surface threats are dealt with through the pair of Harpoon anti-ship quad launchers fitted amidships. 2 x Mark 32 Mod 9 twin-tubed torpedo launchers support the EuroTorp MU90 series torpedo to deal with undersea threats. Close-in threats can be handled by the 2 x 25mm M242 Bushmaster chain guns and the 1 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS). All told, the Hobart will be a perfect airspace-denial weapons platform.
Over the stern is a heli-deck supporting a single Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and this system is itself equipped with various submarine and ship-hunting subsystems including search-and-tracking, sonar and missiles. A full service hangar provides maintenance capabilities for the bird.
Like the Spanish ships, Hobart comes pre-designed with inherent stealth features including smooth lines and faceted shaping. The smoke funnels are purposely short and integrated well into the forward and aft superstructures. A single main mast (pole-type) is carried and this is attached to the bridge superstructure. Protrusions are limited across the design of the Hobart and this aids in reducing the ship's radar signature and return.
Now in active service, HMAS Hobart (DDGH-39) provides much needed muscle to the inventory of the modern RAN.
June 2017 - HMAS Hobart was delivered to the Royal Australian Navy on June 16th, 2017.
September 2017 - HMAS Hobart (DDG-39) was officially commissioned for service into the Royal Australian Navy on September 22nd, 2017.