The Royal Australian Navy’s (Ran) Hobart-class guided missile destroyer HMAS Sydney has demonstrated its naval combat capabilities during the Pacific Dragon 2022 (PD22) exercise.

During the exercise, the Hobart-class vessel tracked very high-speed targets using its Aegis Combat System and phased array AN/SPY 1D(V) radar.

The HMAS Sydney then launched a medium-range, surface-to-air Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) against an airborne target drone.

The demonstrations were carried out off the coast of Hawaii, reported leading seaman David Cox.

According to the RAN, the participation of HMAS Sydney in the exercise was part of the routine regional presence deployment.

Over the past few months, as many as five RAN ships from two task groups have been participating in the regional presence deployments throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

Such deployments involve the participating vessels and units carrying out joint exercises and other engagements in collaboration with Australia’s partner nations.

It demonstrates Australia’s regional commitment, safeguarding the country’s interests to protect its long-term security and prosperity, maintaining rule-based order, and improving teamwork with allies, capability and interoperability development.

The US-led PD22 exercise was conducted at Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands (PMRF), off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii from 5 to 15 August.

It was the first iteration of the multinational integrated air and missile defence exercise.

Apart from the RAN, PD22 saw the participation of the US Navy, US Missile Defense Agency (mda), Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

The exercise aimed to enhance interoperability, and tactical and technical coordination among participating forces while improving their integrated air and missile defence capability.