Navy ships from Australia, Japan, Canada show off big guns during Keen Sword

Navy ships from Australia, Japan, and Canada have fired their biggest guns during a multinational gunnery exercise (gunex) in the North Pacific Ocean near Japan, Keen Sword 2022.

The ships involved in the gunex were Australia’s destroyer HMS Hobart, JMSDF’s destroyers JS Asahi and Setogiri, and Canadian Halifax-class frigate HMCS Winnipeg.

Credit: Australian Navy

The target was a small remote-controlled boat called a “Hammerhead”, launched by Winnipeg in choppy seas.

“Despite the small target disappearing [from view] in the wave troughs, the serial was a success and the target was destroyed,” HMAS Hobart gunnery officer Lieutenant Dominic Harradine said.

“The more of these exercises we do the better prepared we are in the future.”

The job of firing Hobart’s five-inch gun fell on first-timer Able Seaman Electronics Technician Ki Ludowici. The five-inch gun swivelled and moved up and down as the optimal firing solution was selected.

With 36,000 military personnel, 30 ships and 370 aircraft participating – drawn primarily from Japan and the USA, with Australia and Canada also joining in, the ten-day exercise Keen Sword is a major test of forces by land, sea and air.

This year’s military workout focused on a combined response to armed attacks aimed at testing the readiness of participating countries.

For the first time, a Royal Navy ship, HMS Spey, joined the exercise. The ship sailed with the Japanese amphibious/landing ship JS Kunisaki, to link up with the core exercise task group and one of the largest gatherings of military naval hardware in the region in recent years.

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