The Royal Australian Navy has demonstrated the cutting edge cooperative missile-firing warfare technology of its three Hobart Class Destroyers in an exercise off Australia’s east coast.
As stability in the Indo-Pacific is threatened by the aggressive expansion of the Chinese regime’s regional military ambitions, Australia has been moving swiftly to sure up its defence capabilities and cooperation with regional allies.
The Navy’s HMAS Hobart, Brisbane, Sydney together for the first time conducted the recent joint tests, trials, and exercises to increase maritime security and stability in the region.
Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said in a statement on Dec. 12 that the exercise demonstrates Navy’s preparedness to respond to a more complex and contested maritime domain.
“The Hobart Class are the most capable and lethal warships Australia has ever built, increasing our interoperability with the United States and allowing us to work even closer with our allies and partners,” Reynolds said.
“Through this Government’s record up to $183 billion Naval Shipbuilding Program we are growing our Navy to support the need for increased maritime security and stability in our region.”
The exercises showcased the warship’s Cooperative Engagement Capability—a cutting-edge technology that combines radar and missile fire control data into a common picture. This allows the naval and air platform to engage an adversary based on another platform’s data.
“By creating a single, real-time operation picture, we will significantly improve our capability for maritime air and missile defence, and maritime strike,” Reynold said.
It is the first time a navy other than the U.S. Navy has used the missiles firing technology.
“This significant step not only demonstrates the strong interoperability we have with the United States, but the Royal Australian Navy is the first Navy outside of the US Navy to conduct Cooperative Engagements Capability missiles firings here in Australia,” she said.
“The cutting-edge technology combines radar and fire control data into a common picture, allowing naval and air platform to engage an adversary based on another platform’s data.”
Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price witnessed the joint exercise aboard the HMAS Hobart.
Price said the cooperative engagement capability allowed shared information and data to be integrated into the ship’s Aegis combat management system.
“Australian workers from both Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia should be proud of their significant contribution to this remarkable capability,” Price said.
“Today was a powerful visual milestone for Australian Defence industry after a decade of work across 2700 suppliers who have contributed to the Air Warfare Destroyer Program.
“I am proud to see the successes of Australia’s expansion of ship building, as well as these complex systems integration skills operating at sea, demonstrating an advanced and coordinated warfare capability.”
The Department of Defence announced that the Royal Australian Air Force participation in the trials enhanced the three Destroyers’ combat reach and effectiveness, and opened “new opportunities for the joint integrated air missile defence program.”