14 March 2017
Washington (UPI) - Australia's navy and various industry partners completed sea trials with an Aegis-equipped HMAS Hobart destroyer.
The trials were conducted to verify the platform's compatibility with the Aegis combat system built by Lockheed Martin. Other industry partners involved with the event include Raytheon Australia, Navantia and ASC Shipbuilding.
The team, known as the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, says the trial's completion puts Hobart one step closer to joining Australia's naval fleet. The vessel is the first of three to be equipped with the Aegis combat system.
"This is yet another significant milestone for the Commonwealth and for the Aegis combat system aboard Australia's first Hobart Class destroyer, capable of simultaneously defending against advanced air, surface and subsurface threats," Lockheed Martin's Jim Sheridan said in a press release. "Having these three destroyers with the Aegis combat system provides Australia with new game changing capabilities to address modern threats."
Aegis is a battle management system designed to provide operators with detection and engagement capabilities. According to Lockheed Martin, the system is able to engage several targets at a time, and can be used against ground-based enemies, surface ships, submarines and incoming missiles.
HMAS Hobart is the 107th ship to be equipped with the system, making Australia the sixth nation allied to the United States to receive the capability. Additional operators include Spain, South Korea, Norway and Japan.
Hobart-class destroyers are being constructed as part of Australia's SEA
4000 program, which defense leaders say is one of the largest naval projects
in the country's history.