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Australia's first Hobart-class destroyer conducts test of SM-2 missile

The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) first Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD), HMAS Hobart , has conducted the class’ first in-country firing of the SM-2 Standard Missile.

Hobart firing its SM-2 missile for the first time (Commonwealth of Australia)

Hobart firing its SM-2 missile for the first time (Commonwealth of Australia)

The weapon was deployed against an unmanned target during trials off the coast of New South Wales, the country’s Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds, announced on 19 August.

“HMAS Hobart is the most sophisticated and lethal warship ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy, and this missile firing is a demonstration of how she can fight and win at sea,” the minister said.

The same announcement also cited Hobart’s Commanding Officer, Commander Ryan Gaskin, who described the missile firing as “a significant step in progressing [the RAN’s] high-end warfighting capability”.

“The missile firing was an opportunity to test recent upgrades to the ship’s Aegis combat system and prepare the ship’s company for their upcoming deployment,” Cdr Gaskin said.

“Our advanced sensors provide a real-time picture of the tactical situation, which when combined with our weapons systems gives us a formidable defence capability”, he added.

Hobart is equipped with a Mk41 vertical launch system that can deploy SM-2 Standard Missiles and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles. It is also armed with a Mk 45 127 mm main gun, Phalanx close-in weapon system, two 25 mm Typhoon guns, and MU90 and Mk54 light-weight torpedoes.

The destroyer is based at Garden Island in Sydney, and will deploy for the first time in September as the lead ship in a task group deployment.

This article, first published on 20 August, is subject to a correction and has been amended.

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