RAN’s HMAS Melbourne test fires two Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles

28 June 2015 (Last Updated June 28th, 2015 18:30)

The Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) Adelaide-class frigate, HMAS Melbourne, has successfully tested two Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles off the coast of New South Wales.

HMAS Melbourne

The Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) Adelaide-class frigate, HMAS Melbourne, has successfully tested two Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles off the coast of New South Wales.

Strengthening the vessel's war-fighting and mariner skills, the missiles were fired against two unmanned aerial targets launched from the Beecroft Range at Jervis Bay.

HMAS Melbourne commanding officer commander Bill Waters said: "We do extensive simulation, but by conducting a live missile firing we validate this training and prove the accuracy and precision of our combat systems."

The missiles were deployed using MK-41 vertical launch system as part of the vessel's operational training programme.

The Evolved Sea Sparrow missile is a medium-range, semi-active homing missile that is designed for use against surface-to-air and surface-to-surface targets.

Part of the suite of weapons use by Australian frigates, it is capable of making flight corrections through radar and midcourse data uplinks.

"By conducting a live missile firing we validate this training and prove the accuracy and precision of our combat systems."

Powered by a gas turbine for main propulsion, the Adelaide-class frigates feature two retractable auxiliary units, which provide a secondary means of propulsion and manoeuvrability in confined waters.

The FFGs are equipped with the standard medium-range anti-aircraft missile, the Harpoon anti-ship missile, a 76mm gun for air and surface threats, and one 20mm Phalanx close-in-weapon system for anti-missile defence.

HMAS Melbourne is also equipped with a sophisticated computer-based command and control system, as well as a comprehensive sensor package, including the Mulloka medium-range sonar for submarine detection.

The vessel will deploy to the Middle East as part of Operation Manitou later this year.


Image: HMAS Melbourne fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow missile during training in the East Australian Exercise Area off the New South Wales coast. Photo: courtesy of Royal Australian Navy.