The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) fifth Anzac-class frigate HMAS Toowoomba has successfully carried out the test launch of an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM).

The missile was test fired during a recent training exercise conducted off the coast of Western Australia.

It marks the first time HMAS Toowoomba launched an ESSM after the receiving upgrades under the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Programme (AMCAP).

Through the latest activity, the RAN assessed and validated the performance and capability of Toowoomba’s onboard combat systems. It also ensured the operational readiness of the Anzac-class warship.

HMAS Toowoomba weapons electrical engineering officer lieutenant commander Kieran Davis said: “The purpose of Toowoomba’s ESSM firing was to verify combat system performance in the detection, tracking and engagement of manoeuvrable targets at the sea.

“The safe and successful execution of this firing involved synchronisation from many parts of ship, including the weapons electrical department, combat systems operators, warfare officers and the navigation team.

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“Thanks to the combined efforts of ship’s company, we were able to effectively fire an ESSM and intercept the intended target.”

Toowoomba’s 18-month long upgrade programme, which was completed in April last year, primarily provided the required out-of-water maintenance as well as capability upgrades to various systems of the ship, including radar system and communication systems.

HMAS Toowoomba was one of the five Anzac-class frigates to receive AMCAP upgrades to enhance the overall capability of the RAN fleet.

Similar mid-life capability upgrade programme for HMAS Arunta was completed in June 2019. It was the first ship to complete AMCAP.

Arunta also underwent ESSM missile launch training exercise in March 2020, a few months after it completed the upgrade programme.