Royal Australian Navy guided missile destroyer, HMAS Sydney, displayed its sophisticated naval combat capabilities while participating in Exercise Pacific Dragon 2022 in the seas off Hawaii.
CAPTION: HMAS Sydney fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile at Exercise Pacific Dragon during a regional presence deployment. Story and photo by Leading Seaman David Cox.
The exercise saw Sydney track very high-speed targets with its Aegis Combat System and state-of-the-art phased array AN/SPY 1D(V) radar before successfully launching an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile to intercept an airborne target drone.
Sydney operated in conjunction with forces from the Royal Canadian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy, US Missile Defense Agency and US Navy.
The biennial multinational integrated air and missile defence exercise took place at the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands (PMRF) off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii, from August 5-15.
Exercise Pacific Dragon 2022 was the first iteration of the exercise, which included a live-fire intercept of a short-range ballistic missile using a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IA.
The US-led exercise aimed to improve tactical and technical coordination and interoperability concerning regional integrated air and missile defence capability.
Participating units included Sydney, HMAS Supply, HMCS Vancouver, JS Haguro, ROKS Sejong the Great, USS Fitzgerald, USS William P. Lawrence, and the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands, Kauai.
Sydney participated in the exercise as part of its routine regional presence deployment.
Five Royal Australian Navy ships across two task groups have been conducting regional presence deployments throughout the Indo-Pacific over recent months.
During their deployments the ships and their embarked Australian Defence Force units are undertaking joint exercises and other engagements with Australia’s regional partners.
Regional presence deployments demonstrate Australia’s commitment and engagement with the region, playing a vital role in Australia’s long-term security and prosperity by protecting Australia’s interests, preserving a rules based order, enhancing cooperation and relationships with regional partners and allies and developing capability and interoperability.