Maritime forces from the US, Japan and Republic of Korea (ROK) have carried out missile warning and ballistic missile search and tracking exercises.

The drills were conducted from 8 to 14 August, during the multinational exercise Pacific Dragon 2022 (PD22), at Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaii.

The exercises involved sharing of tactical data link information between participants from the US Navy, the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

It was in adherence to the trilateral information sharing agreement signed between the three countries.

Building on the US-ROK-Japan trilateral ministerial meeting held in Singapore in June, the exercises emphasised the commitment to strengthen the trilateral pact to respond to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) challenges.

Furthermore, the drills aimed to protect shared security and enhance rule-based international order.

Apart from the naval forces from three nations, the PD22 involved participation of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) along with the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

This was the first iteration of PD22, conducted between 5 and 15 August, off the coast of Kauai and Hawaii.

The biennial exercise involved a live-fire intercept of a short-range ballistic missile, using a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IA.

The objective of PD22 was to enhance air and missile defence capability, interoperability as well as tactical and technical coordination of the forces.

The US Navy’s two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and William P Lawrence (DDG 110), also participated in the exercise.

Other vessels included RAN’s Supply-class ship HMAS Supply (A195), RCN’s Halifax-class frigate HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331), JMSDF’s Maya -class destroyer JS Haguro (DDG 180) and ROKS Sejong the Great (DDG 991).