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.
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.