Royal Australian Navy helicopter frigate HMAS Parramatta has returned to Australia after completing a three-month deployment, which included south and south-east Asia.
In late February and early March, prior to COVID-19 restrictions, HMAS Parramatta visited Phuket, Thailand, and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
In April, Parramatta also exercised with the US Navy USS America Expeditionary Strike Group in the South China Sea during the deployment.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the deployment showed Australia’s strong commitment to its partners and to a secure and prosperous region.
“Defence has, for decades, maintained a robust program of engagement with countries in and around the region, and will continue to do so,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Our Navy personnel take every opportunity to engage and exercise with allies and partners at sea.
“Interactions between partner navies enhance our interoperability, strengthen practical cooperation on maritime security and play an important role in supporting the stability and security of our region.”
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Parramatta, Commander Anita Nemarich, said the opportunity to work alongside US naval vessels in the South China Sea earlier this month was invaluable.
“Maintaining security and safety at sea requires navies to be able to co-operate seamlessly. The combined activity between our two navies demonstrated our capability and a high degree of interoperability,” CMDR Nemarich said.
Navy is adhering to the whole-of-government guidelines from the Department of Health in relation to COVID-19, as is the rest of the Defence organisation.
At sea, all health threats, including COVID-19, are closely monitored and appropriately managed as part of force health protection.
HMAS Parramatta departed its homeport of Sydney on 3 February 2020.
HMAS Parramatta (IV) is the fifth of eight Anzac Class frigates built for the Royal Australian Navy by Tenix Marine Systems, Williamstown, Victoria. The design is based on the German Meko 200 frigate.
Parramatta is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. Anzac's combat capabilities have been significantly improved under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program, a world-class program that provides an enhanced sensor and weapons systems capability.
The upgrade showcases Australian design and integration capability, with new phased array radar technology designed by CEA Technologies in Canberra, upgrades to combat systems performed by Saab Systems in South Australia, and platform integration design by BAE Systems in Victoria.