Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett joined two apprentices to lay the keel for the Royal Australian Navy’s third destroyer, NUSHIP Sydney, on 19 November, at ASC shipyards in Adelaide.
First-year electrical apprentices Rebecca Stevenson and Billy Hewitt played an integral role in the ceremony, helping Vice Admiral Barrett secure the keel.
Sydney is the last of three Hobart class destroyers under construction and Vice Admiral Barrett said he had confidence those building the ship would ensure it was the best it could be for the Australians who would serve in it.
“Recently I decommissioned Sydney (IV),” Vice Admiral Barrett said.
“That ship, well built, had travelled 962,000 nautical miles in its 32-year life.
“When I look at this and when I look at you as the builders of this ship, I have every faith you will be able to replicate the sort of challenges that Sydney (IV) had, and that you will produce a fine ship that the Navy will be proud of.
“Thank you for your efforts to date, I look forward to seeing Sydney (V) in the water.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, Mr Rod Equid, said the keel-laying was the latest in a series of important achievements across the project, with the start of the hull consolidation phase as well as the progression to the system activation phase for NUSHIP Hobart in advance of sea trials next year.
Mr Equid said the second destroyer, NUSHIP Brisbane, was also on track to meet the completion of hull consolidation next month.
“We are proud of this further progress, as production is now more than 70 per cent complete across the project and significant productivity improvements are being realised from ship to ship,” Mr Equid said.
“We have come a long way since our first keel-laying ceremony three years ago.
We recognise the importance of the work being done on the third ship, as this is where we will achieve the highest levels of productivity, based on the lessons from Sydney’s sister ships.”
Interim Chief Executive Officer of ASC, Mr Mark Lamarre, said the destroyers would not be where they were today without the dedicated workforce.
“I would especially like to thank all of the outstanding people who work to make these warships a reality - all of the boiler makers, welders, mechanical fitters, painters, insulators, electricians, engineers, planners, purchasing agents and so many more,” Mr Lamarre said.
“Thank you for all of the work you do, for being part of this effort, and for making sure that we learn every day and apply that learning to following ships.”