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The future of Australia's AWD project

US Navy receives delivery of newest littoral combat ship"

The Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) is the biggest defence project in Australia, surpassing the F-35 fighter acquisition and submarine programs. The project is designed to provide the Navy with highly capable and flexible ships able to engage enemy aircraft and missiles.

The Australian AWDs are being constructed with state-of-the-art phased array radars, SM-2 missiles and a helicopter to conduct surveillance and support missions in operation areas. These vessels are primarily designed to support coastal operations and protect infrastructure from enemy air attacks. 

Construction of the ships is proceeding well, with first of the vessels on target to be delivered by 2016. Deliveries will continue until 2019, when the final vessel HMAS Sydney is expected to be completed.

"It is great to see the first destroyer taking shape in Adelaide with the complex Aegis tower successfully lifted onto the ship structure," said Rod Equid, CEO of the AWD Alliance.

He went on to explain that the project is now at full worker capacity, with the destroyer HMAS Brisbane's construction in full swing. The HMAS Hobart will have the combat system activated in 2014. 

The project has drawn criticism from some, however, as concerns are mounting over the cost of the vessels. An investigation is to be headed by Don Winter, former US Navy secretary. Mr Winter was responsible for affairs regarding the construction and repair of ships for the US Navy. The outcome of the report is expected to be presented later this year.

The vessels present a necessary investment, however, as Australia requires a strong naval force for coastal defence and overseas maritime security. As seen with the successes of the HMAS Melbourne in the Middle East, these ships play a key role in global maritime operations.

Interconnect Systems has a comprehensive background in aerospace and defence engineering, being an industry leader for more than 20 years. It provides electrical interconnect products and solutions, including cable and wire harness manufacture.

For more information on the best backshells and cable harness solutions, contact Interconnect Systems today on 1800 812 214.

By Philip Shelley

Interconnect Systems

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