Surface Forces: October 31, 2004


Australia, which has been building smaller warships (up to 3,000 tons displacement) for over half a century, is now going to build three larger (over 6,000 ton) air warfare destroyers. The ships will cost about a billion dollars each. The existing design that will be used has not been selected yet, but the short list includes the U.S. 9,000 ton Arleigh Burke class, the Spanish 5,800 ton F100 class or the German 5,500 ton F124 class. The Australians are also building two amphibious warfare ships, at a cost of about $800 million each. The destroyers are to use the American Aegis radar system. While Australia will import many of the ship components, the assembly in local yards will maintain Australian proficiency in warship construction. The destroyers wont enter service until the next decade.


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