Rear Admiral Stephen Hughes

Head of Navy Capability (2022 -)

RADM Stephen Hughes

Rear Admiral Stephen Hughes, CSC, RAN assumed his current role as Head Navy Capability in December 2022. He is responsible for identifying the needs and requirements of Navy’s future capabilities and for the development and delivery of these capabilities to the Fleet.

Rear Admiral Hughes joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1986. He has served as a warfare officer in Frigate and Destroyer class ships, including exchanges with the Canadian Navy and Commander US Seventh Fleet. He commanded the guided missile frigate HMAS Melbourne. Shore postings have included Director Navy Information Warfare, Director Capability Development in the Air Warfare Destroyer program; Director Joint Amphibious Capability Implementation Team responsible for the introduction into service of the Canberra Class amphibious ships; Director General Littoral accountable for Navy’s strategic sponsorship and oversight of the Amphibious and Afloat Support, Mine Warfare, Hydrographic, and Patrol Boat programs; Commander Surface Force responsible for the force generation of Navy’s major fleet units; and Head Intelligence Capability responsible for the capability development and assurance of Defence’s joint intelligence capabilities.

He was awarded the United States Meritorious Service Medal for duties as the Seventh Fleet Exercise Planning and Schedules Officer in 2002; and awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2017 Australia Day Honours List for his outstanding devotion to duty in the field of major warship introduction into service.

Rear Admiral Hughes is a graduate of ADFA and the Australian Defence College. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering, a Master of Business Studies in Project Management, and a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies.