The missile firings were conducted off the coast of New South Wales on 24 June against two unmanned aerial targets launched from the Beecroft Range at Jervis Bay.
Melbourne’s MK-41 Vertical Launch System deployed the missiles, controlled in flight, resulting in a successful engagement with the target as part of her operational training program.
Navy ships conduct mariner and war-fighting training all year round to prepare for operational duties and Commanding Officer Melbourne, Commander Bill Waters, said the firing proved the effectiveness of the frigate’s combat systems.
“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,” Commander Waters said.
The Evolved Sea Sparrow is a medium-range, semi-active homing missile that makes flight corrections via radar and midcourse data uplinks. It can be used against surface-to-air and surface-to-surface targets. The missile is part of the suite of weapons use by Australian frigates.
Later this year, Melbourne will deploy to the Middle East as part of Operation MANITOU where she will support efforts to counter and deter terrorism and the trade of narcotics.
MANITOU is the Australian Defence Force’s maritime security contribution to the international effort to promote security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region.
Imagery of the firing is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20151801
Video of the firing is available at http://video.navy.gov.au/play/15dGR2dTocBm87opxg4ZfifhpeieO7rO