Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Royal Australian Navy has commissioned the first of three air warfare destroyers, the HMAS Hobart, into service in a ceremony at Garden Island in Sydney.
"In these uncertain times, a strong, well equipped Australian Defense Force is absolutely critical," Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said at the ceremony. "The commissioning of HMAS Hobart provides clear evidence of our determination to keep Australians safe and ensure we are ready and able to meet the challenges that come our way in the years ahead."
"Wherever she may travel around the world, Hobart will serve our nation and take action in Australia's name."
The Hobart and its sister ships will provide air defense against missiles and aircraft.
The vessel is equipped with an Aegis combat system, including the phased array radar and missile systems capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges of up to more thn 93 miles.
The ship is also equipped with modern sonar systems, decoys, surface-launched torpedoes and close-in weapons
The Hobart is 483 feet long, 61 feet in the beam and have a speed of 28 knots. It has a range of more than 5,000 nautical miles at a speed of 18 knots.