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Australia equips third Hobart-class destroyer with Naval Strike Missile

HMAS Sydney , seen here with the Naval Strike Missile launcher on its starboard side, as it carries out a formation entry into Sydney Harbour with HMAS Warramunga and New Zealand's HMNZS Manawanui . (Australian Department of Defence)

Australia has equipped the country's third Hobart-class destroyer, HMAS Sydney , with the Naval Strike Missile (NSM).

Images of the vessel that were released by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) in May 2024 confirm that at least one NSM launcher has been incorporated amidship.

It was spotted on the warship's starboard side as it carried out a formation entry into Sydney Harbour on 24 May with the Anzac-class frigate HMAS Warramunga and the Royal New Zealand Navy's diving support and hydrographic vessel HMNZS Manawanui .

Australian Minister for Defence Richard Marles and the country's Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy first disclosed in January 2023 in a joint statement that the country has signed a contract for the NSM with Kongsberg.

The weapons will be incorporated on the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) Hobart-class air warfare destroyers and the Anzac-class guided-missile frigates, the ministers said then.

It will progressively replace the Harpoon anti-ship missile system on these vessel classes from 2024.

The NSM is a turbojet-propelled sea-skimming long-range missile that was developed by Kongsberg to provide the Royal Norwegian Navy with a surface-attack weapon that can better survive air-defence systems.

It carries a 120 kg high-explosive blast fragmentation warhead and has a range in excess of 200 km. The NSM can be launched from naval ships and from launchers on land.

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