This week another milestone was reached for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) project when the keel of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) second destroyer, NUSHIP Brisbane was laid in Adelaide.
In keeping with tradition, the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral (VADM) Ray Griggs AO CSC RAN placed a newly minted silver coin under the keel of Brisbane. He was assisted by two of the youngest apprentices at the shipyard, Jayden Cairns and Courtney Bird. The coin is believed to protect builders and sailors from misfortune and danger.
VADM Griggs said “The DDG brings a significant step up in the air warfare capability of the Royal Australian Navy. It will be the fighting heart of the Fleet, along with the upgraded Anzac Class Frigates, and will mean that we have probably the most sophisticated and powerful surface Fleet that the RAN has ever had.
The Hobart Class Destroyers represent a major leap in capability for the Royal Australian Navy. Their role is to protect ADF personnel by providing area defence for accompanying ships as well as land forces and infrastructure in coastal regions.
Defence Minister The Hon. David Johnston attended today’s ceremony and said “These vessels will take us to a new generation and dimension for the Navy. I look forward to having them at sea defending Australia’s interests.”
The keel laying event coincided with a visit from USS Kidd, a United States Navy Destroyer, which arrived in Sydney yesterday to provide RAN sailors with a critical opportunity for exposure to the Aegis combat system on board Kidd. The RAN Destroyers will also be fitted with the advanced Aegis system, which will be the nerve centre of the destroyers, able to simultaneously detect track and engage multiple air, surface and subsurface targets.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20140151.