As 2019 draws to an end, the Defence Connect team will take a look through some of its favourite images of the year, with this edition being focused on maritime photography.
The Royal Australian Navy has had a tremendous year, filled with both several long-term deployments, and growing excitement about new acquisitions such as the Hunter Class frigate, as well as Australia's newest warship, HMAS Brisbane, which had its first overseas deployment in 2019.
The RAN's surface force had most of its combatants – 14 frigates, destroyers, amphibious ships and support vessels – deployed overseas at some point during the year.
Commander Surface Force, Commodore Stephen Hughes, said the number of overseas deployments and international exercises in the Fleet’s schedule this year has proven a high level of combat readiness.
“This year we deployed our new Hobart Class destroyers concurrently,” CDRE Hughes said.
“HMAS Hobart spent almost four months deployed in east Asia as the command platform for a Task Group of 11 ships and took part in multinational exercises.
“Meanwhile, HMAS Brisbane completed her first overseas deployment testing her Aegis combat system in the United States, including striking targets using remotely-supplied telemetry from an American warship for the first time.
“This year has affirmed that these warships are the most capable and lethal at our disposal.”
The RAN’s Anzac Class frigates also demonstrated their capabilities overseas in the Middle East and across the Indo-Pacific region.
“HMAS Toowoomba sailed as far west as India for multinational French-led exercises while Ballarat spent nine-months deployed as part of Operation MANITOU in the Middle East region, where she seized nearly 20 tonnes of illicit drugs worth an estimated value of $1.41 billion,” CDRE Hughes said.
“Sister ships Arunta, Parramatta and Stuart deployed to east Asia, visiting Guam, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines among other nations as part of Navy’s biggest concurrent deployment of the year.”
Take a look through the image gallery above for a look at Defence Connect's favourite images from 2019 in the maritime domain.