Lead ship of the Hobart Class guided missile destroyers HMAS Hobart has become the first of the class to successfully fire a missile in Australian waters, which marks a major milestone in the capability of the class.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the successful missile firing demonstrates the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy’s most advanced warships.
"HMAS Hobart is the most sophisticated and lethal warship ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy, and this missile firing is a demonstration of how she can fight and win at sea," Minister Reynolds said.
Australia's Hobart Class guided missile destroyers (DDG) are based on Navantia's F100 Alvaro De Bazan Class of frigates and incorporate the Lockheed Martin Aegis combat management system with Australian-specific equipment to ensure that the RAN is capable of defending Australia and its national interests well into the next two decades.
The Hobart Class' Spanish counterparts entered service with the Spanish Navy beginning in the early 2000s, working alongside key NATO and US maritime assets.
When deployed to the Persian Gulf, the F100s became the first foreign Aegis-equipped ships to fully integrate into a US Navy Carrier Strike Group, while the class has also successfully deployed as the flagship of NATO's Maritime Group Standing Reaction Force, highlighting the individual and interoperable capabilities of Navy's new destroyers.
The vessels will be capable across the full spectrum of joint maritime operations, from area air defence and escort duties, right through to peacetime national tasking and diplomatic missions.
The Hobart Class Combat System is built around the Aegis Weapon System, incorporating the state-of-the-art phased array radar, AN/SPY-1D(V), will provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometres.
Hobart’s Commanding Officer, Commander Ryan Gaskin, said the successful firing was a significant step in progressing Navy’s high-end warfighting capability.
"The missile firing was an opportunity to test recent upgrades to the ship’s Aegis combat system and prepare the ship’s company for their upcoming deployment. Our advanced sensors provide a real-time picture of the tactical situation, which when combined with our weapons systems gives us a formidable defence capability," CMDR Gaskin explained.
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HMAS Hobart carries a range of weapons systems, including a Mk41 Vertical Launch System containing SM-2 Standard Missiles and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, a Mk 45 five-inch main gun, Phalanx close-in weapons system, two 25mm Typhoons guns, and MU90 and Mk54 light-weight torpedoes for subsurface defence.
HMAS Hobart is based at Garden Island in Sydney and will deploy for the first time next month as the lead ship in a task group deployment.