It’s been a busy start to the year for HMAS Brisbane, having not only conducted her first Mariner Skills Evaluation, but also her first ammunitioning, structural firings and recently her Seaworthy Assurance Trials (SWATs).
Over the course of three weeks, the ship’s company was put through its paces, practicing an array of different warfare exercises involving the ships state-of-the-art Aegis Weapons Combat System.
Once in open waters and with staff from Raytheon Missile Systems USA on board, the ships Close-In Weapons System (CIWS), Bushmaster 25mm Typhoon and main Five-inch gun were all fired to verify their integrity, functionality and accuracy.
As expected, Brisbane was successful in the conduct of all firings and it provided a fantastic opportunity for the ship’s company to practice all evolutions from loading and unloading weapons to firing them.
For Able Seaman Electronics Technician Jeremy Tadros, the ship’s Gun Weapons Systems Supervisor, months of hard work finally paid off when he was able to fire the ship’s main five-inch gun for the first time.
“Sitting in the chair in the operations room, closed up for the first time, was pretty intimidating,” Able Seaman Tadros said.
“But the training we’d conducted beforehand prepared me well and I felt great after hearing that first round fire,” he said.
The successful completion of the trials ensured Brisbane can now provide positive assurance to the Chief of Navy that she is capable of operating in a range of different scenarios.
The Aegis Weapons Systems were tested in several areas, and functions of the ship were assessed, from the propulsion and organic services to the combat and weapons systems.
The assessments saw Brisbane embark people from a number of different organisations including the Fleet In Service Trials (FIST) team, the Royal Australian Navy Test and Evaluation Authority (RANTEA), Thales, Raytheon and Navy Engineering.
The success of these firings could not have been achieved without the strong relationship between the ship’s company, Navy and its industry partners.
Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer, Lieutenant Commander Greg Simon said the men and women of Brisbane have established a reputation of being a professional and approachable group of people.
“DDG Enterprise members such as Raytheon, as well as our sister ships Hobart and Sydney, have always gone above and beyond to support us in the achievement of our goals,” he said.
These milestones mark another step forward in preparing Brisbane for her upcoming Deployment Readiness Evaluation, which is a chance for her to “flex her muscles” and demonstrate her lethality in a more warfare centric environment.
Commanding Officer, Commander Josh Wilson said that he was extremely happy with the progress the ship’s company had made since commissioning late last year.
“The successful completion of the SWATs was an essential milestone in the building of ship knowledge of the Aegis Weapons Combat System and its awesome capability,” he said.
Brisbane’s ship’s company will continue onto its Deployment Readiness Evaluation in preparation for deployment to the United States later in the year.
As well as allowing the ship an opportunity to cooperatively engage with the United States Navy, the US deployment will see Brisbane conduct live fire engagements of a number of airborne threats using the on-board Vertical Launch Missile System.