Royal Australian Navy’s three Hobart-class destroyers have exercised together for the first time, demonstrating their cooperative-engagement capabilities.
CAPTION: A Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lighting II aircraft conducts a flypast of HMAS Hobart during an air warfare serial off the coast of New South Wales. Photo by Leading Seaman Leo Baumgartner.
HMA Ships Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney conducted joint tests, trials and exercises off the east coast of Australia, further developing their air- and surface-warfare capabilities.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the exercise demonstrated Navy’s preparedness to respond to a more complex and contested maritime domain.
“The Hobart class are the most capable and lethal warships Australia has ever built, increasing our interoperability with the United States and allowing us to work even closer with our allies and partners,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Today’s exercise showcases the capabilities these warships have when using the cooperative engagement capability.
“This significant step not only demonstrates the strong interoperability we have with the United States, but the Royal Australian Navy is the first Navy outside of the US Navy to conduct cooperative-engagement-capability missiles firings here in Australia (April 2018).
“This cutting-edge technology combines radar and fire control data into a common picture, allowing naval and air platform to engage an adversary based on another platform’s data.
“By creating a single, real-time operation picture, we will significantly improve our capability for maritime air and missile defence, and maritime strike.
“The Hobart-class destroyers have demonstrated that they can be integrated effectively to support the mutual endeavours and commitments of the ADF and our partner nations.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price witnessed the joint exercise on board HMAS Hobart.
“Australian workers from both Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia should be proud of their significant contribution to this remarkable capability,” Minister Price said.
“Today was a powerful visual milestone for Australian Defence industry after a decade of work across 2700 suppliers who have contributed to the Air Warfare Destroyer Program.
“I am proud to see the successes of Australia’s expansion of ship building, as well as these complex systems integration skills operating at sea, demonstrating an advanced and coordinated warfare capability.”
The trails included Royal Australian Air Force participation, further enhancing the destroyers’ combat reach and effectiveness and opening new opportunities for the joint integrated air missile defence program.