The Royal Australian Navy has successfully tested the new Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) its new Hobart class destroyers will be equipped with.
The tests were conducted in March and early April aboard HMAS Hobart and NUSHIP Brisbane in the Gulf of St Vincent southwest of Adelaide.
CEC is designed to enhance the capability of a surface fleet by combining ship-borne radar and fire control data into a common picture, allowing one ship to engage an adversary based on the other ship’s data. Australia is only the second nation to integrate CEC after the US.
“The new Cooperative Engagement Capability is a significant step-change for Australia as we face increasing threats from cruise missiles and advanced aircraft,” Defence Minister Marise Payne said in a statement. “Together Hobart and Brisbane bring revolutionary air defence capabilities – not by adding new radars or weapon systems, but by utilising existing sensors and weapons in a more effective manner.
“Not only does this capability enable us, for the first time, to share targeting data in real time between ADF assets, it will also enable us to share it with United States assets, providing new levels of interoperability within a coalition force.”
The ADF will also integrate CEC with other assets such as the RAAF’s E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft its future AIR6500 Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) program, and the SEA5000 Future Frigate’s Aegis combat management system to provide a long range, cooperative and layered air defence.
“As the combat system integrator for Australia’s Air Warfare Destroyers, Raytheon Australia considers this announcement a critical milestone for the AWD program and the Royal Australian Navy, with Australia as the first international partner outside of the United States to gain access to this technology,” Michael Ward, managing director of Raytheon Australia said in a separate statement.