The Royal Australian Navy’s guided-missile destroyer, HMAS Hobart, has demonstrated a missile-firing capability during trials off the coast of New South Wales.

By doing so, it has become the first Hobart-class destroyer to fire a missile in Australian waters.

The vessel successfully fired an SM-2 missile against an unmanned target.

Australia Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “HMAS Hobart is the most sophisticated and lethal warship ever operated by the Royal Australian Navy, and this missile firing is a demonstration of how she can fight and win at sea.

“The Australian government is modernising our navy into a state-of-the-art maritime power through an additional A$90bn ($60.97bn) commitment.”

Hobart commanding officer Ryan Gaskin stated that the missile firing marks a significant step in advancing the RAN’s high-end warfighting capability.

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Gaskin said: “The missile firing was an opportunity to test recent upgrades to the ship’s Aegis combat system and prepare the ship’s company for their upcoming deployment.

“Our advanced sensors provide a real-time picture of the tactical situation, which when combined with our weapons systems gives us a formidable defence capability.”

The destroyer is equipped with weapons systems such as an Mk41 Vertical Launch System containing SM-2 and Evolved SeaSparrow missiles, a Mk 45 5-inch main gun, and a Phalanx close-in weapons system.

The vessel is also armed with two 25mm Typhoons guns, as well as MU90 and Mk54 lightweight torpedoes for subsurface defence.

Last year, the Aegis combat system-based destroyer conducted weapons and systems evaluations with the US Navy.

HMAS Hobart was commissioned in September 2017 and is based at Garden Island in Sydney.

Next month, the vessel will be deployed as the lead ship of a task group for the first time.