Refurbishment and upgrade works have started on the Nato Seasparrow missile system (NSSMS) platform and MK132 guided-missile launching system.

Located at the US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD), the surface-to-air ship defence weapon system is being modified to support the deployment of the Evolved Seasparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2.

The Block 2 missile employs an active and semi-active guidance system, which are used to meet both current and emerging threats.

The current modification project is launched by NSWC PHD to support its ‘In-service Engineering Agent (ISEA) of the Future’ scheme.

NSSMS customer advocate and programme manager Robert Barrett said: “The modification, known as MIN MOD, will include an overhauled launcher that will bring together all of the programme elements to prove and verify required changes, as well as demonstrate that the change is fleet ready.

“The replacement launcher had to have the ability to be able to fire the ESSM Block 2.”

“This also provides the ISEA with the latest launcher that is in the fleet, allowing us to better execute our jobs in both fleet support as well as obsolescence management.”

Barrett added: “The replacement launcher had to have the ability to be able to fire the ESSM Block 2.”

The partners for the upgrade programme include subject matter experts from NSWC PHD, NAVSEA Technical Warrant Holders; and the Naval Packaging, Handling, Storage and Transportation Division.

The Nato Seasparrow Project is an effort by an international consortium comprising 12 nations, which are Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the US.