Sydney sea trials make a DDG trifecta

This article has photo gallery Published on SBLT Justin Csucsy (author), Simon Casson (photographer)

Location(s): St Vincent Gulf, SA

Topic(s): NUSHIP Sydney (D42), Sea Trials

Alliance General Manager, Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, Paul Evans (third from left); Director General Naval Construction Branch, CDRE Steve Tiffen (centre); Captain Nick Woods MN (fifth from left); Commanding Officer NUSHIP Sydney, CMDR Edward Seymour (sixth from left); with NUSHIP Sydney crew and AWD Warrant Officer’s team onboard NUSHIP Sydney before she enters Sea Acceptance Trials, Osborne, SA. (photo: Simon Casson)
Alliance General Manager, Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, Paul Evans (third from left); Director General Naval Construction Branch, CDRE Steve Tiffen (centre); Captain Nick Woods MN (fifth from left); Commanding Officer NUSHIP Sydney, CMDR Edward Seymour (sixth from left); with NUSHIP Sydney crew and AWD Warrant Officer’s team onboard NUSHIP Sydney before she enters Sea Acceptance Trials, Osborne, SA.

As NUSHIP Sydney casts off for her final period of Builders Sea Trials this week, it marked the first time that all three Hobart Class Destroyers have been at sea or deployed at the same time.

This is a significant milestone for the Royal Australian Navy and the Air Warfare Destroyer program.

Spread across two weeks in the St Vincent Gulf, South Australia, Sydney’s trials involved a comprehensive suite of tests designed to push the limit of the newly built platform.

While Sydney was being put through her paces, her sister ships were also hard at work with the first of the three ships built, HMAS Hobart (III), departing for South East Asia and HMAS Brisbane (III) undergoing Combat System testing while deployed to the southern California range areas.

The deployments demonstrate that the hard work and dedication of thousands of personnel in the Royal Australian Navy and the wider Air Warfare Destroyer program is paying dividends.

For Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Bradly Lynch, the trials have been particularly significant.

“Having had the opportunity to be a part of the project since 2015, and support the test and acceptance of Hobart and Brisbane, and now see Sydney commence her sea trial phase, has been a wonderful experience.

The quality and performance of these platforms is an amazing achievement by all involved, and an important step towards a new sovereign naval shipbuilding industry in this country,” Chief Lynch said.

Lieutenant Inger Ellingsen said for her it was a career milestone.

“It has been very humbling experience to be part of the team that is making Sydney ready for delivery and operational service in the Royal Australian Navy.

By being given the opportunity to work with the builders and the crew taking her through the trials is a once in a career opportunity,” Lieutenant Ellingsen said. 

“I am excited to be a part of bringing Navy’s newest and most capable warship online” said Sydney Officer of the Watch Sub Lieutenant Sam Fiez, similarly eager to be part of the new platform,” she said.

The trials were also a chance to commence checks on the world class Aegis combat system.

“I'm impressed with the way that everybody has come together in the short amount of time.” Chief Petty Officer Electronics Technician Matthew Skirde said.

“The Builders Sea Trials period has enabled us to set to work and test many elements of the ship's combat system, utilising the collective expertise of industry partners, Commonwealth personnel and USA system specialists working together as a team.”

With Sydney putting to sea for the first time, it was a great opportunity for some of her crew to gain first-hand experience of life on board a DDG (destroyer) at sea.

Reflecting on her time aboard during Sydney’s trials, Seaman Electronics Technician Stephanie Coleman said she was looking forward to the opportunity to commission a warship.

“I’m looking forward to this opportunity, as this is my first sea posting, especially with Sydney’s rich history and legacy, which is amazing,” she said.

Sydney will complete her Builders Sea Trials today and will now commence preparations for Category 5 trials in October.