The Navy’s Hobart Class destroyers will undergo a $4.4 billion Aegis combat system upgrade from 2024 which will increase the ADF’s air and missile defence capability.
The three ships will also have an Australian developed interface installed to integrate the Aegis combat system with the rest of the ship’s systems.
The Minister for Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds, said the Hobart Class are the most capable and lethal warships Australia has ever built, increasing interoperability with the United States and other allies and partners.
“We recognise that advanced long?range and hypersonic missiles and directed energy weapons require the ADF to continuously build robust air and missile defence capability options,” she said. “The Aegis combat system is the brain of Navy’s integrated air and missile defence capability. In the face of compressed timelines and to protect Australian forces, Defence requires the agility to sense, decide and take action against contemporary and future threats.”
“The upgraded version of the Aegis combat system for the Hobart Class Destroyers will also be installed in the new Hunter Class frigates,” Minister Reynolds added, “providing Defence with world-leading technology while improving sovereign shipbuilding capability.”
As part of the Government’s enterprise approach, the Australian Interface will be designed and developed by Saab Australia, leveraging their combat management system experience gained across the rest of Navy’s surface fleet. The Australian Interface will also be common across both the Hobart and Hunter Classes.
“By installing the latest Aegis combat system and developing the Australian Interface here in Australia, we are guaranteeing the development of a long?term Australian combat management system capability,” Minister Reynolds said. “This is not only a strategic Defence investment that will enhance the skills and grow a sustainable Australian combat system workforce that is over 200 strong over the next decade, but guarantees we have sovereign control of this key technology for our Navy fleet.”
Defence will commence industry and State engagement to inform Government consideration in 2021 on the shipyard location to deliver these upgrades.