The Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 has successfully intercepted a BQM-74E aerial target as part of its maiden live fire test, which was conducted by the Nato Seasparrow Project Office.
The trial represents the first ESSM flight test to be carried out using the new Block 2 active guidance seeker-head.
It follows the successful completion of two controlled test-vehicle flight tests in June last year.
The ESSM Block 2 solution is able to use both semi-active and active guidance systems in order to address current and anticipated future threats.
Additional live fire tests are now planned to bring the ESSM Block 2 missile into production.
Nato Seasparrow Project project manager captain Bruce Schuette said: “This flight test is critical to demonstrating the technology for the ESSM Block 2.
“I am very proud of the entire Nato Seasparrow Project Team, from our industry partners to our field activities and test facilities, for all the extensive work that went into making this event a success.”
In addition to the US, a total of 11 other nations are participating in the Nato Seasparrow Project, namely Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Turkey.
Nato member nations are currently assisting the project by supporting the engineering, development, production and sustainment of the missiles and its related equipment.
The project is intended to help member nations to reduce the costs and risks associated with the development of weapon systems.
Seasparrow is a surface-to-air missile system that is primarily used to meet the threat posed by cruise missiles to high-value ships.