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Australian Navy Arms Hobart Class Destroyer With Naval Strike Missile

The Royal Australian Navy has outfitted its guided-missile destroyer HMAS Sydney with the Naval Strike Missile.

Australia procured the Kongsberg anti-ship missile in January 2023 as a replacement for the Harpoon on the navy’s Anzac-class frigates and Hobart-class destroyers.

Several warships of both classes have already been integrated with the missile, Australian Defence reported, citing the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mark Hammond.

“This year we have fitted Naval Strike Missiles to the fleet, not all vessels, but we have commenced that activity,” the outlet quoted Hammond as saying, without specifying the upgraded vessels.  

Missile Features

The missile features a range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) and greater maneuverability.

It has excellent sea-skimming capabilities and uses inertial, GPS, and terrain-reference navigation. 

Additionally, it employs an imaging infrared system for terminal homing, making spoofing and radio frequency jamming redundant.

Tomahawks to Enter Service This Year

A longer-range Tomahawk cruise missile will enter service with the Royal Australian Navy later this year, according to Hammond.

Over 200 Tomahawks were procured in 2023 for $830 million to arm the fleet of Hobart destroyers.

“By the end of this year, we’ll go from a legacy fleet with a maximum range weapon in the vicinity of 200km to the incorporation of the Tomahawk capability with a maximum range in excess of 2,500km,” Australian Defence quoted Hammond as saying.

Additionally, the Raytheon missile will be outfitted with the country’s Virginia class submarines, which are scheduled to enter service in the early 2030s.

A feasibility study is being conducted to outfit the missile with six future Hunter class frigates as well.

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