Royal Australian Navy Destroyer, HMAS Hobart Returns Home After Conducting Weapons and Systems Evaluations with U.S. Navy

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN)’s first Aegis combat system based guided missile destroyer, HMAS Hobart (DDG 39), has arrived at Fleet Base East after conducting weapons and systems evaluations with the U.S. Navy off the US West Coast.

Hobart was put through its paces by the U.S. Navy, particularly in relation to the Aegis Combat System during the evaluations. HMAS Hobart’s crew was also challenged by a series of tests and demonstrations to verify and validate the capabilities of the ship. Part of this validation included a series of at sea tests known as Combat System Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT). The aim was to achieve a sustainable level of combat and weapon system readiness.

A RIM-66 Standard 2 missile leaving its cell of HMAS Hobart's Vertical Launch System (VLS) during weapons trails off the US West Coast.
A RIM-66 Standard 2 missile leaving its cell of HMAS Hobart’s Vertical Launch System (VLS) during weapons trails off the US West Coast.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Hobart, Captain John Stavridis says the Americans threw everything at his people, who passed with flying colours.

“We were presented with some of the world’s toughest and most challenging threats; modern anti-ship missiles, maritime strike aircraft, fighters and high speed attack craft. On every occasion we successfully defended all threats,” said CAPT Stavridis.

During the deployment, Hobart also became the first ship of its class and the first International Partner to demonstrate an ability to operate in sync with U.S. forces, known as a ‘Co-Operative Engagement Capability’ (CEC).

Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) is a real-time sensor netting system that enables high quality situational awareness and integrated fire control capability. It is designed to enhance the anti-air warfare (AAW) capability of U.S. Navy ships, U.S. Navy aircraft and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Composite Tracking Network (CTN) units by the netting of geographically dispersed sensors to provide a single integrated air picture, thus enabling Integrated Fire Control to destroy increasingly capable threat cruise missiles and aircraft.

The RAN’s Hobart-class air warfare destroyers (AWDs) are the first warships outside the U.S. Navy service to be equipped with the CEC system.  Australia has recently commissioned the second ship of the class, HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41), into its fleet during a ceremony at the Garden Island Naval Base in Sydney.  The first ship of the class, HMAS Hobart (DDG 39) was commissioned into the Navy fleet on Sept. 23 last year while the third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, the future HMAS Sydney (DDG 42), will be delivered to the Navy in 2019.

Edited by DefPost team, Original story by LEUT Anthony Martin/ RAN

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