In a positive display of the Navy motto “To Fight and Win at Sea”, the fleet’s newest guided missile destroyer HMAS Sydney has sailed in company with sister ship HMAS Brisbane to conduct training and testing of the Aegis Combat System.
Commanding Officer HMAS Sydney Commander Edward Seymour stated that this was the first time Sydney had sailed in company with another Guided Missile Destroyer and also the first time joining another vessel at sea equipped with the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC).
“This activity is a great opportunity to use some of the more complex systems that we have to provide crew training and preparedness,” he said.
Sailing in company with Brisbane has allowed the ship to exercise bridge and navigation teams, watchkeeping, communications and the Cooperative Engagement Capability.
Sydney has been progressing through the DDG Force Generation cycle which includes conducting Aegis Waterfront Training alongside with the support of a team of specialists from Lockheed Martin in the USA.
“The Waterfront Training provides us with the ability to train ourselves to generate the ship’s combat systems training team and integrate this as part of the whole ship training regime. We have achieved this with valuable assistance from the team from the United States who bring expertise and experience on the Aegis Combat system,” said Commander Seymour.
For Lieutenant Daniel James, a ship’s Principal Warfare Officer in Sydney’s Combat Information Centre, the period of Aegis alongside training contributes greatly to test and validate the system and train its maintainers and operators.
The training combined with being at sea with Brisbane further tests the capability to generate networks with another Aegis platform.
“This is one of the few occasions that Australian ships have been able to employ this capability other than with US Navy platforms,” Lieutenant James said.
The Aegis Combat System, incorporating the highly sophisticated and proven phased array AN/SPY 1D(V) radar in combination with the missile armament and CEC, provides Sydney and her sister ships an advanced air defence capability greater than any previously seen in the RAN.
Following the Aegis Waterfront Training, Sydney will commence Unit Ready Workup in preparation for final live weapons and systems tests in the United States next year.