Australia’s First Hobart-Class Guided Missile Destroyer to Fire Missiles at Rimpac
Australia’s First Hobart-Class Guided Missile Destroyer to Fire Missiles at Rimpac

Australia’s First Hobart-Class Guided Missile Destroyer to Fire Missiles at Rimpac

HMAS Hobart (DDG 39) has become the first Hobart-class guided missile destroyer to conduct a live fire at Exercise Rim of the Pacific, making it the most sophisticated and lethal warship ever operated by the RAN. 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. Alongside ships from the United States and Canada, Hobart successfully fired an SM-2 against an unmanned target as part of the exercise scenario. 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.

“Rimpac provides Navy with a unique training opportunity to strengthen international maritime partnerships, enhance interoperability and improve our readiness for a wide range of potential operations. 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. The Indo-Pacific has experienced economic prosperity largely because of the security and stability that exists at sea. We train to ensure the ability to deter disruptions to global supply chains and threats to lines of communication and commerce.” Commander Gaskin said.

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Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Hobart executes a live missile firing off the coast of Hawaii during Exercise Rim of the Pacific.
Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Hobart executes a live missile firing off the coast of Hawaii during Exercise Rim of the Pacific. (Photo: Australian Minister for Defence/Leading Seaman Ernesto Sanchez)

HMAS Hobart (DDG 39), named after the city of Hobart, Tasmania, is the lead ship of the Hobart-class air warfare destroyers used by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The ship, based on the Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate designed by Navantia, was built at ASC’s shipyard in Osborne, South Australia from modules fabricated by ASC, BAE Systems Australia in Victoria, and Forgacs Group in New South Wales. Despite commissioning initially planned for December 2014, the ship was not laid down until September 2012, and launched in May 2015. The Department of Defence accepted delivery of HMAS Hobart on 16 June 2017. The ship was commissioned on 23 September 2017.

RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Exercise) is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. RIMPAC is held biennially during June and July of even-numbered years from Honolulu, Hawaii, with the exception of 2020 where it was held in August. Ten nations, 22 surface ships, one submarine, multiple aircraft, and about 5300 personnel are participating at Rimpac. This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and the United States. Participating forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities from multinational anti-submarine warfare and live-fire training events, among other cooperative training opportunities.

Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Hobart (DDG 39) steams in a multinational formation during a photo exercise off the coast of Hawaii during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.
Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Hobart (DDG 39) steams in a multinational formation during a photo exercise off the coast of Hawaii during the Rim of the Pacific exercise. (Photo: U.S. Navy photo/ 1st Class Rawad Madanat)
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