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Australia’s Aegis Destroyer Will Improve its Defensive Capabilities

Debalina Ghoshal
RUSI Defence Systems, 13 August 2018
Maritime Forces, Pacific
The Royal Australian Navy is leveraging the latest Aegis combat system, SM-6 interceptor missiles and its new Hobart-class destroyers to limit its vulnerability to proliferating ballistic and cruise missile threats in the Indo-Pacific region. This has implications for interoperability with allies and deterrence.

In June 2018, the US Department of State approved the purchase of long-lead equipment including the CEAFAR 2 phased array radar system as part of the Aegis combat system for Australia’s Royal Australian Navy (RAN). This sale would both strengthen Australia’s self-defence capabilities and increase the RAN’s interoperability with the US Navy’s Aegis destroyers and cruisers in the Pacific region. The CEAFAR radar system is designed to enable seamless Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) to allow Australian and American surface combatants to share targeting data in real time.

In 2017, the Australian navy received its first Aegis-equipped air defence destroyer, HMAS Hobart (DDG 39), developed by US defence giant Lockheed Martin. With the acquisition of the lead ship Hobart and her two follow-on sister ships, including the HMAS Brisbane which is currently undergoing trials, Australia has joined the global Aegis fleet which already includes Japan, Spain, Norway, the Republic of Korea and the United States.

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