Raytheon SM-2 programme director Ron Shields said that with this firing, Melbourne’s crew validated the work done to transition warships from SM-1 capability to SM-2.
“This was the first time an SM-2 has been launched by any navy from an upgraded frigate, clearing the way for other fleets to make similar upgrades,” he said.
The SM-2, block IIIA missile is part of a long-range area air defence capability with improved communication techniques, midcourse guidance, advanced signal processing and propulsion.
These enhancements provide high and low-altitude intercept capability against advanced anti-ship missile threats with an intercept range of 90nm.
Three more frigates from the navy are scheduled to be upgraded to the SM-2 configuration along with upgrades to the combat management systems, launchers and other systems to enhance their combat capabilities against low-altitude and supersonic targets.