Navy engineer helping destroyers become reality

Published on Danielle DeSantis (author), Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance (photographer)

Location(s): Techport Australia, SA

Topic(s): HMAS Hobart (D39)

Commander Tony Miskelly is the Test and Evaluation Manager for the Hobart Class Destroyer project. (photo: Unknown)
Commander Tony Miskelly is the Test and Evaluation Manager for the Hobart Class Destroyer project.

In a unique arrangement between the Royal Australian Navy and the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, a number of Navy personnel are currently embedded in the project to maximise collaboration between industry and Defence. This partnership allows for the Navy to develop ‘technical masters’ of the Hobart class destroyer capability by engaging them early in the project in key engineering and project management roles.

In particular, a number of Navy personnel are critical members of the Test and Evaluation team, charged with energising systems onboard the ship for the first time and ensuring they work. Commander Tony Miskelly is a key member of this team as the Test and Evaluation Manager for the project.

With decades of Navy experience, Commander Miskelly joined the team in 2013, bringing with him multiple degrees in Engineering and Management. In his current role, Commander Miskelly is responsible for witnessing test events on the first destroyer Hobart, and confirming that the platform, systems and equipment are built, installed and operating to a required standard.

“The destroyer capability is unique in that it combines local Australian technology with globally proven systems from across the world,” Commander Miskelly said.

“In order for our ships to combine this technology, we have developed an 'Australianised' combat system, which takes the globally proven Aegis weapon system and modifies it to suit our specific needs.

“A key part of this system is our Australian Tactical Interface which enables the systems to operate together.”

Hobart is the first of the Hobart Class Destroyers and construction work is currently focused on ship completion and system commissioning.

Hobart is the first of the Hobart Class Destroyers and construction work is currently focused on ship completion and system commissioning.

While Commander Miskelly’s role on the project is currently focused on testing, once the first destroyer, Hobart, is operational, he will have a role as the Weapons Electrical Engineer Officer.

“I am delighted to be selected as part of the future Hobart crew,” he said.

“This class of destroyer is a real step change in capability for the Royal Australian Navy and they will be the most capable ships we've ever operated.

“It is an exciting time on the project right now, as we move closer to commencing Combat System Light Off and sail Hobart for Category 5 sea trials.”