The Latest Air Warfare Destroyer Arrives in Sydney Harbour: NUSHIP Sydney


By Lieutenant Geoff Long and Lieutenant Commander Kristen Russo

Sydney residents had a first glimpse of their city’s namesake ship with the arrival of NUSHIP Sydney at Garden Island today.

The last of the three Hobart-class destroyers joining Navy’s fleet entered Sydney Heads and made her way through the harbour, with contractors and the ship’s company embarked.

Commanding Officer Sydney Commander Edward Seymour said the arrival of the warship was a proud moment for all involved.

“Sydney’s arrival into her home port is the result of 15 months of hard work by her ship’s company and the product of years of Australian shipbuilding,” Commander Seymour said.

“The Hobart-class destroyer is the most lethal warship operated by the Royal Australian Navy and will provide capability including air defence to task groups as well as land forces and coastal infrastructure.”

Her arrival comes exactly 36 years to the day that the people of Sydney saw guided missile frigate HMAS Sydney IV arrive for the first time.

This will be the fifth ship to bear the historic name.

For Petty Officer Maritime Logistics – Support Operations sailor Dion Georgopoulos, Sydney IV was the first RAN ship he served in and he is proud to be a commissioning crew member of Sydney V 19 years later.

“It is a surreal feeling knowing that this is probably the beginning of a new legacy where thousands of sailors for years to come will have the privilege of being Sydney crew,” Petty Officer Georgopoulos said.

Sydney was brought into harbour under a red ensign and delivered under the direction of civilian contracted mariners, with the ship’s company providing the personnel to operate and maintain necessary systems for safe steaming.

Also on board were Defence personnel from Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Teekay and the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance.

One of the Navy personnel on board was Leading Seaman Naval Police Coxswain Sue Rochford, who had been looking forward to this moment for more than 12 months.

“I’m over the moon, I’m so excited.  This is the posting of my career,” Leading Seaman Rochford said.

“I’m pretty proud to be part of this historic occasion of driving the ship into Sydney for the first time.”

The 147-metre-long warship sailed from Osborne, South Australia, where she was built by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance and has been undergoing sea trials. She is due to commission in May.

This article was published by the Australian Department of Defence on 27 March 2020.