The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate HMAS Melbourne has successfully launched an Evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM) during a test off the east coast of Australia.
The test was carried out as a part of HMAS Melbourne’s three-week sea qualification trials after a period of dry docking and maintenance.
Able Seaman Electronics Technician Nazmi Kenar acted as the fire control officer and was responsible for coordinating and controlling the entire weapon systems under the direction of the air warfare officer.
Kenar said: “We had weeks of preparation including late night drills and early morning starts, but in the end it was all was very successful and very much worth it.”
HMAS Melbourne air warfare officer lieutenant Rhys Ryan stated that the missile firing validated the ship’s capability to defend itself in hostile environments.
Ryan said: “Our mission is to fight and win at sea, and the test was not only important in proving our combat system works but to give confidence to our ship’s company in our war fighting ability.”
Recently, HMAS Melbourne’s combat system tracked and engaged a Pheonix Jet unmanned aerial vehicle target drone operated by Air Affairs Australia.
A cooperative upgrade of Raytheon’s RIM-7 Seasparrow Missile, the ESSM can be deployed against high-speed, highly manoeuvrable anti-ship missiles in naval environments.
The missile is being used by the members under the Nato Seasparrow consortium, which are Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the US.
Image: An ESSM launched from HMAS Melbourne. Photo: © LSIS Peter Thompson / Royal Australian Navy.