The first of the three Royal Australian Navy air warfare destroyers, HMAS Hobart, is leading a nine-ship task group on a deployment across North and South East Asia.
In addition to being the first ever operational overseas deployment for the lead ship in the class, the deployment is also the navy’s largest this year.
Departing on Thursday from Sydney, the lead element of the task group will participate in bilateral and multi-national activities over the next four months.
Accompanied by Anzac frigates HMAS Parramatta and Stuart as well as a navy submarine, HMAS Hobart will lead the first task group element to Japan for an International Fleet Review.
HMAS Stuart will later join the Armidale class patrol boat HMAS Ararat, the replenishment ship HMAS Sirius, and the hydrographic survey ship HMAS Leeuwin during their deployment to South East Asia.
The Anzac frigate HMAS Arunta will then join Sirius in exercises with a range of regional partners including Malaysia and Indonesia.
Minehunters HMAS Gascoyne and HMAS Diamantina will participate in international exercises for the final element of the Task Group.
“From high end warfare exercises, port visits as well as cultural engagements, this major deployment demonstrates again Australia’s long standing commitment to our partners and regional security,” Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds said.