Navy’s near-new Hobart-class destroyers will undergo an Aegis combat system upgrade that will increase the ADF’s air- and missile-defence capability.
FILE PHOTO (August 2019): HMAS Hobart fires an SM2 missile. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Cameron Martin.
The Hobart class will also have an Australian-developed interface installed to integrate the Aegis combat system with the rest of the ship’s systems.
Work in Australia to install the new Aegis combat system and Australian interface in Navy’s destroyers and frigates is planned to commence in 2024.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the Hobart class was the most capable and lethal warship Australia has ever built, increasing our interoperability with the United States and allowing us to work even closer with our allies and partners.
“We recognise that advanced long range and hypersonic missiles and directed energy weapons require the ADF to continuously build robust air and missile defence capability options,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The Aegis combat system is the brain of Navy’s integrated air and missile defence capability.
“In the face of compressed timelines and to protect Australian forces, Defence requires the agility to sense, decide and take action against contemporary and future threats.
“Recently, at RIMPAC 2020, HMAS Hobart successfully conducted coordinated surface-to-air missile firing demonstrations using the current version of the Aegis combat system, demonstrating interoperability with the United States and our ability to field missile-defence capabilities.
“The upgraded version of the Aegis combat system for the Hobart-class destroyers will also be installed in the new Hunter-class frigates, providing Defence with world-leading technology while improving sovereign shipbuilding capability.”
The Australian interface will be designed and developed by Saab Australia, leveraging their combat-management-system experience gained across the rest of Navy’s surface fleet.
“Investment in upgrades will ensure Navy is equipped and jointly networked to protect the nation from future air and missile threats,” Minister Reynolds said.
“By installing the latest Aegis combat system and developing the Australian interface here in Australia, we are guaranteeing the development of a long-term Australian combat-management-system capability.
“This is not only a strategic Defence investment that will enhance the skills and grow a sustainable Australian combat-system workforce, but guarantees we have sovereign control of this key technology for our Navy fleet.”