The Royal Australian Navy Anzac Class frigate HMAS Parramatta has departed Fleet Base East in Sydney for a four-month deployment to south-east Asia ahead of a big year for regional engagement.
Parramatta will participate in several major military exercises to enhance interoperability and build practical co-operation with Navy partners including India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the deployment would help strengthen the stability and security of the Indo-Pacific region.
"This highly capable warship and her crew of 190 officers and sailors will reinforce the positive relationships Australia has with our regional partners," Minister Reynolds said.
Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, AM, farewelled Parramatta and said she is well-prepared for the deployment.
"Parramatta is a long-range frigate capable of countering simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines, and the ship’s company is ready for the deployment’s busy schedule," RADM Mead said.
Parramatta will engage in various activities including Exercise Milan in India, Exercise Bersama Shield off Singapore and the Malay Peninsula, and International Fleet Reviews in the Philippines and Vietnam.
The ship's combat capabilities have been significantly improved under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program, a program that provides an enhanced sensor and weapons systems capability.
This deployment comes following a big 2019 for the Royal Australian Navy in the Indo-Pacific region. With a major east Asia deployment of a Surface Action Group led by HMAS Hobart, the lead ship of the Hobart Class guided missile destroyers.