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Sea Platforms

Australia’s first Hobart-class destroyer completes weapons, systems evaluation

28 December 2018
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HMAS demonstrating its ability to strike hostile aircraft and missiles as part of combat system ship qualification trials with the US Navy. Source: Commonwealth of Australia

Key Points

  • Australia's first-of-class air warfare destroyer HMAS Hobart has successfully demonstrated its ability to conduct co-operative fleet-area air defence operations
  • The trials validate the Royal Australian Navy's capacity to interoperate with the US Navy in high-intensity combat operations

The Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) lead Hobart-class air warfare destroyer (AWD) has marked another milestone by completing its weapons and systems evaluations, including a series of at-sea trials known as the combat system qualification trials (CSSQT), with the US Navy (USN).

The trials, which included a variety of combat scenarios including evasive manoeuvres against anti-ship missiles, fighter aircraft, and surface combatants, were completed in late-2018 at an undisclosed location off the US West Coast.

In November 2018, Hobart also demonstrated its ability to establish secure data links with the USN's Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John Finn as part of trials to validate the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) real-time sensor network, which the AWDs are now part of.

Vessel tracking information and fire control data were exchanged between Hobart and John Finn as part of the trials, which were conducted off the coast of Hawaii. The RAN's Hobart-class destroyers are the first warships outside the USN to feature this capability.

Completion of these trials have validated the AWD's ability to provide a multilayered and collaborative at-sea defence system against hostile aircraft and precision-guided munitions for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and those of its partners, particularly the USN.

Australia's Hobart class is derived from the Spanish Navy's (Armada Española's) Alvaro de Bazan-class frigate, and incorporates the Aegis combat system. The frigate's suite of sensors includes the Lockheed Martin and Raytheon AN/SPY 1D(V) phased array radar, and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B surface search radar.

The warship class has an overall length of 146.7 m, an overall beam of 18.6 m, and a hull draught of 4.9 m.

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