Hosted annually, Exercise TASMAN SHIELD runs from 22 February to 12 March 2021, and brings together Navy’s DDG and aircraft from RAAF Bases Amberly, Edinburgh, Tindal and Williamtown to conduct simulated missions over the east coast of Australia.
The exercise provided an opportunity for RAAF personnel to enhance and promote interoperability with Navy ships.
Australia has committed to 72 F-35A aircraft for three operational squadrons at RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Tindal, and a training squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown. The first F-35A aircraft was accepted into Australian service in 2018, with the first arriving in country in December that year. The first F-35A squadron, No. 3 Squadron, will be operational in 2021. All 72 aircraft are expected to be fully operational by 2023.
The RAN’s three Hobart-class destroyers Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney are based on the Navantia designed F100 frigate and is coupled with the Aegis Combat System. They were constructed in Australia by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance. The Hobart-class provides air defence for accompanying ships in addition to land forces and infrastructure in coastal areas, and for self-protection against missiles and aircraft. The Aegis Combat System incorporating the phased array radar, AN/SPY 1D(V), in combination with the SM-2 missile, will provide an advanced air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150km.