HMAS Hobart has become the first Hobart-class guided missile destroyer to fire a missile in Australian waters.
Hobart fired an SM-2 Standard Missile in the East Australian Exercise Area against an unmanned target during trials off the coast of New South Wales, achieving excellent results.
The firing provided an opportunity to prove recent upgrades to the ship’s Aegis combat system and prepare the ship’s company for its upcoming unit readiness evaluation and task group deployment.
Commanding Officer of Hobart Commander Ryan Gaskin said the successful firing was a significant step in progressing Navy’s high-end warfighting capability.
“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,” Commander Gaskin said.
“Our advanced sensors provide a real-time recognised maritime picture of the tactical situation combined with state-of-the-art weapon systems, giving us a formidable area air-defence capability.”
Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Katie Thorburn was directly responsible for firing the missile and said her training had prepared her well.
“I wasn’t nervous firing the missile as I’d done it before and we’ve trained a lot of hours for this,” Leading Seaman Thorburn said.
“Last year we trained for more than 150 hours for a similar scenario and we’ve done over a week’s worth of training this year for this firing.
“I wasn’t nervous at all – after all of our training, it was all down to muscle memory.”
Hobart’s weapons systems include a Mk41 Vertical Launch System containing SM-2 Standard Missile and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, a Mk45 5-inch main gun, Phalanx Close-In Weapons System, two 25mm Typhoon guns, and MU90 and Mk54 light-weight torpedoes for subsurface defence.
Hobart will deploy for the first time in September as the lead ship in a task group deployment.