HMAS Hobart has achieved a number of firsts for her class and the Royal Australian Navy over the past several weeks off the east coast of Australia.
Hobart successfully tested her 20mm Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) against an inflatable surface target, marking the first ever time an Australian warship has fired a CIWS capable of striking air and surface targets.
The ship’s five-inch main gun was tested against a towed target from varying distances and directions in an early morning naval gunfire exercise.
Two practice delivery torpedoes were also fired from the port and starboard tubes with both torpedoes recovered for analysis by Navy’s Surface Forces branch.
Test Director Lieutenant Commander David Small of Surface Forces oversaw the program of firing serials and said they would help prove the true capabilities of Australia’s newest warships.
“First-of-class trials set a baseline for the performance of a new class of ship”, he said.
“The next key aim is to validate our standard operating procedures as two more guided missile destroyers come online.”
“Surface Forces will now prepare a trial report of observations and recommendations, including changes to procedure or potential physical changes to the ship itself.”
Hobart completed a number of other evolutions for the first time during her trial period, including a replenishment at sea with HMAS Anzac and a deep water anchor in the waters off Jervis Bay.
Commanding Officer Captain John Stavridis said the ship had shown its capability in a number of war-like scenarios.
“HMAS Hobart is an outstanding warship that is up to the rigours that come with a busy tempo”, he said.
“Many of the things we have achieved for the first time these past several weeks will be daily requirements of this ship over decades to come and we’ve shown we are a guided missile destroyers with a ruthlessly professional crew that gets the job done.”
Hobart will conduct further trials throughout the year culminating with an evaluation period in the United States.