The Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of three Hobart-class air warfare destroyers met up at sea for the first time for exercises.
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.
“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,” defense minister Linda 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 Engagements Capability missiles firings here in Australia.”
The destroyers were joined by Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft during the air warfare serial off the coast of New South Wales, Australia. Defense industry Melissa Price witnessed the joint exercise from on board HMAS Hobart.
Minister Price said the cooperative engagement capability allowed shared information and data to be integrated into the ship’s Aegis combat management system.
“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.
Australia built the three destroyers on the basis of the Spanish F-100 frigate design supplied by shipbuilder Navantia. The ships measure close to 150 meters in length, carry a 48-cell Mark 41 vertical launch system, and Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers in addition to guns and close-in weapons systems.