Anzac-class frigate HMAS Perth displayed its capabilities and ability to integrate with partners while participating in Exercise Pacific Vanguard 2022.

Perth put ‘smoke in the air’, launching an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile to successfully engage a high-speed, unmanned aerial vehicle the frigate had tracked with its phased array radar and combat system.

The launch was part of a dual-firing exercise conducted in conjunction with the US Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Barry (DDG-52), which launched an SM-2 anti-air missile.

Conducted in the Philippine Sea, the biennial air and missile defense exercise focused on enhancing interoperability and advancing training and integration between maritime forces.

The dual firing enhanced interoperability by combining both ships’ air and missile defenses against realistic threats, proving the integration of systems, weapons and tactics between allies.

Commanding Officer Perth Commander Tony Nagle said the highly-anticipated exercise was not only an impressive sight, but also invaluable for testing systems and training personnel to further enhance the Royal Australian Navy’s ability to operate effectively with regional maritime forces.

“Operating in company with other Australian ships enhances our own capabilities, but working closely with the US Navy advances our tactical training and strengthens our regional partnership,” Commander Nagle said.

“We successfully achieved our training aims during the exercise and thoroughly enjoyed our time working alongside HMAS Sydney and our South Korean, Japanese, Canadian, and American friends.

“I, along with the rest of Perth’s ships company, look forward to returning for future exercises and engagements.”

Perth and Barry were supported during the exercise by the US Navy Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo and ammunition ship, USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3).

Perth participated in Exercise Pacific Vanguard as part of a regional presence deployment through the Indo-Pacific Region, which included a series of joint exercises and other engagements with regional partners.

Perth conducted a port visit in Guam following the exercise before returning to sea to continue its deployment, proceeding to Darwin to participate in Exercise Kakadu 2022 alongside regional partners during September.

The deployment comes shortly after Perth’s return to operational service following a two-year Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program upgrade.

US Navy photo by Lieutenant (JG) Emilio Mackie