The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) lead Supply-class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) vessel, HMAS Supply, has completed Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) firing trials.

The first-of-class testing was conducted during a regional presence deployment, reported lieutenant Nancy Cotton.

Phalanx CIWS is a rapid-fire, computer controlled, radar guided gun system. It is designed to defeat anti-ship missiles and close-in threats at sea and on land. It is developed by Raytheon Missiles and Defence.

RAN electronic technician leading seaman Sam Chiswell said: “In my role I maintain and operate the CIWS and prepare it for firings; this includes all safety checks, pre-firing and loading the live ammunition.

“Our training helps to make sure procedures are fresh in our minds and communication with the warfare team in the operations room is correct, ensuring a smooth firing evolution.”

The successful completion of CIWS firing trials comes after a series of planning and testing of the gun system functionalities and safety mechanisms of the required systems.

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Following the planning and testing, the team collaborated with the operations crew on the details of the firing trial.

Chiswell added: “There are not many people that can say they were the first to do something like this on an Australian warship.”

Being an auxiliary oil replenishment ship, HMAS Supply primarily performs fleet replenishment, but is also capable of defending against anti-ship missiles using its weapons defence system.

Built by Spanish shipbuilding company Navantia, HMAS Supply was launched in 2018.

The vessel completed its first replenishment at the sea in August last year.

Currently, HMAS Supply along with Canberra and Warramunga are sailing together as part of a regional presence deployment.