By Shaun Donnelly
HMAS Hobart has become the first of the Hobart-class guided missile destroyers to conduct a live fire during Exercise Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), making it the most sophisticated and lethal warship ever operated by the RAN.
Alongside ships from the United States and Canada, Hobart successfully fired an SM-2 Standard Missile against an unmanned target as part of the exercise scenario.
Commanding Officer Hobart Commander Ryan Gaskin said the missile firing proved the ship was ready to fight and win at sea as part of a joint force.
“RIMPAC provides the Navy a unique training opportunity to strengthen international maritime partnerships, enhance interoperability and improve our readiness for a wide range of potential operations,” Commander Gaskin said.
“This year has also proven the ability to operate in company with partner nations at sea during a global health crisis through the employment of strict COVID-19 safe measures on board.”
HMA Ships Hobart, Stuart, Arunta and Sirius, which are on a Regional Presence Deployment through South-East Asia and the Pacific, are taking part in RIMPAC.
Commander Gaskin said credible, ready-maritime partners help to preserve peace and prevent conflict in the region.
“The Indo-Pacific has experienced economic prosperity largely because of the security and stability that exists at sea,” he said.
“We train to ensure the ability to deter disruptions to global supply chains and threats to lines of communication and commerce.”
HMAS Hobart carries a range of weapons systems, including a Mk41 Vertical Launch System containing SM-2 Standard Missiles and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, a Mk 45 5-inch main gun, Phalanx Close-In Weapons System, two 25mm Typhoons guns, and MU90 and Mk54 light-weight torpedoes for subsurface defence.
Ten nations, 22 surface ships, one submarine, multiple aircraft, and about 5,300 personnel are participating in RIMPAC.
This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and the United States.
Participating forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities from multinational anti-submarine warfare, maritime intercept operations, and live-fire training events, among other cooperative training opportunities.