The project to construct three new advanced warships is steaming ahead with the delivery of the first of three Spanish-made sonar hull blocks and the last of six US-made gas turbine engines.

Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance chief executive Rod Equid said the sonar block arrived in Adelaide by road train from Melbourne this week following a six-week sea journey from Spain.

Mr Equid said Spanish shipbuilder Navantia was constructing the sonar blocks for all three ships because of their unique shape and the company's previous experience in building this particular structure.

"The sonar block that has arrived will be installed on Ship 1. The remaining two sonar blocks are expected to be delivered later this year," he said in a statement.

Under the $8 billion AWD program, three vessels, based on the Spanish Navantia F-100 frigate design, will provide Australia with an advanced capability to escort other vessels and defend against air, missile and submarine attack.

Each vessel comprises 31 hull blocks, each weighing about 200 tonnes.

These are constructed at the yards in Australia and Spain and then shipped to the ASC facility in South Australia for final assembly.

The sonar block, mounted under the keel at the front of the vessel, houses the complex electronic equipment used to detect underwater objects.

The first vessel, to be named HMAS Hobart, will be delivered in March 2016.

Mr Equid said the AWD Alliance had also taken delivery of the last of six LM2500 gas turbine engines, manufactured by General Electric in Ohio, USA.

Each vessel is equipped with two LM2500 gas turbines plus two diesel engines, configured so that the drive the ship at lower speeds with the turbines taking over at higher speeds.