The U.S. Navy operated its ships alongside Australia’s frigates to test an amphibious warfighting concept dubbed Upgunned Expeditionary Strike Group during the Exercise Talisman Saber 2017 joint U.S.-Australia military exercise, USNI News reported Monday.
Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, commander of the Navy’s Expeditionary Strike Group 7, told USNI News that the Upgunned ESG test included ships of the Bonhomme Richard ESG — USS Bonhomme Richard, USS Green Bay, USS Ashland and USS Sterett — as well as Australian vessels including the HMAS Darwin guided-missile frigate.
“The concept is to take the capabilities that the amphibious ships with the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter bring, combine that with the offensive capabilities of surface ships,” said Dalton.
Talisman Saber gave an opportunity to perform Upgunned ESG operations in a complex warfighting environment ahead of the deployment of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, which is expected to operate alongside the Navy’s cruisers and destroyers, the report noted.
Dalton added that the Upgunned ESG concept is currently under development, and that Talisman Saber helped validate the idea and familiarize Dalton’s staff with the Unmanned ESG command and control setup.