The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has commenced multilateral exercises with ships from Singapore, Brunei and the US.

RAN’s HMA Ships Stuart and Sirius are taking part in exercises with the Singapore Navy’s RSS Supreme, Royal Brunei Navy’s KDB Darulehsan, and US Navy’s USS Rafael Peralta in the Pacific Ocean.

The multilateral exercises are expected to boost interoperability and prepare the participants for the Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2020, which will be held in Hawaii later this month and will see the participation of RAN.

Commander of the maritime task group in charge of the Australian ships Commodore Michael Harris said: “RAN’s relationships with Brunei, Singapore and the US are defined through strong personal and professional connections that are built from the ground up.

“To work with each other is to understand each other, not just professionally but also culturally and personally.

“The exercise reflects Australia’s commitment to working with our neighbours and the region.”

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The exercise forms part of a regional deployment to perform exercises within Southeast Asia and Hawaii.

The five ships will carry out replenishments at sea, undertake maritime manoeuvres, as well as flying operations with their embarked helicopters and communications exercises.

Commanding Officer of Rafael Peralta Commander Chad Trubilla said: “Multilateral training opportunities such as this, and the larger Exercise Rim of the Pacific exercise strengthen partnerships and improve regional security by overcoming challenges together.

“But most importantly, the officers and crews on board all five ships will build confidence and lasting relationships as we take the field as teammates.”

In June, RAN’s upgraded Mark 15 Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) achieved initial operating capability (IOC) for HMAS Sydney, representing a key milestone.