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Australian DDG flexes muscle at RIMPAC 2020

Australian DDG flexes muscle at RIMPAC 2020

Australia’s first Hobart Class guided missile destroyer, HMAS Hobart, has become the first of its class to conduct a live fire trial at the 2020 RIMPAC exercise off the coast of Hawaii.

Australia’s first Hobart Class guided missile destroyer, HMAS Hobart, has become the first of its class to conduct a live fire trial at the 2020 RIMPAC exercise off the coast of Hawaii.

HMAS Hobart has become the first Hobart Class guided missile destroyer to conduct a live fire at Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020, making it the most sophisticated and lethal warship ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy.

Alongside ships from the US and Canada, Hobart successfully fired an SM-2 standard missile against an unmanned target as part of the exercise scenario.


Commanding Officer Hobart, Commander Ryan Gaskin, said the missile firing proved the ship was ready to fight and win at sea as part of a joint force.

"RIMPAC provides Navy with a unique training opportunity to strengthen international maritime partnerships, enhance interoperability and improve our readiness for a wide range of potential operations," CMDR Gaskin explained. 

HMA Ships Hobart, Stuart, Arunta and Sirius, which are on a Regional Presence Deployment through south-east Asia and the Pacific, are taking part in RIMPAC.

CMDR Gaskin said credible, ready-maritime partners helped to preserve peace and prevent conflict in the region.

"The Indo-Pacific has experienced economic prosperity largely because of the security and stability that exists at sea. We train to ensure the ability to deter disruptions to global supply chains and threats to lines of communication and commerce," he added. 

Ten nations, 22 surface ships, one submarine, multiple aircraft, and about 5,300 personnel are participating at RIMPAC. This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and the US.

Participating forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities from multinational anti-submarine warfare, maritime intercept operations, and live-fire training events, among other co-operative training opportunities.

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.

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 Mk 54 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.

Stephen Kuper

Stephen Kuper

Steve has an extensive career across government, defence industry and advocacy, having previously worked for cabinet ministers at both Federal and State levels.

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