The Royal Australian Navy’s three Hobart class destroyers have sailed and trained together for the first time during recent exercises off the NSW coast.
HMA Ships Hobart, Brisbane, and Sydney sailed together from their home port of Sydney on December 6, and sailed in company before Hobart and Brisbane each conducted a test firings of SM-2 surface-to-air missiles.
“We have demonstrated through this exercise that our platforms and people are ready to respond to a more complex and contested maritime domain,” Commanding Officer of HMAS Hobart, CAPT Ryan Gaskin said in a release.
“The Aegis Combat System provides the destroyers with advanced layered offensive and defensive capabilities to counter conventional and asymmetrical threats, while our people provide the expert knowledge that increases our systems’ lethality.”
The exercises included simulated strikes on the vessels by RAAF F-35A Lightning II fighters from Williamtown, as well as integrating and sharing data with the aircraft.
Commanding Officer HMAS Brisbane, CMDR Aaron Cox, added that integrating RAAF advanced platforms into the exercise was, “a critical milestone in progressing maritime and air combat capabilities that will strengthen our partnerships with regional and allied nations. We are continuing to work with the other services to update, test and trial how we lead the business of defensive and combat effectiveness in our region.”
In a separate release, Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds said, “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. The (vessels) have demonstrated that they can be integrated effectively to support the mutual endeavours and commitments of the ADF and our partner nations.”