HMAS Arunta tests missile system after upgrade

This article has photo gallery Published on Royal Australian Navy (author), LSIS Ronnie Baltoft (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Arunta (F151), RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)

HMAS Arunta fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile off the coast of Western Australia to test its missile systems after undergoing the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program upgrade. (photo: LSIS Ronnie Baltoft)
HMAS Arunta fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile off the coast of Western Australia to test its missile systems after undergoing the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program upgrade.

Following a 20-month upgrade, Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Arunta has fired its first Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) off the coast of Western Australia. 

The ESSM is a surface-to-air weapon that uses radar homing guidance to counter fast-moving anti-ship missiles, forming part of Arunta’s air defence capability.

The Anzac Class Frigate is the first of her class to undergo the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade at Henderson, Western Australia as part of Australia’s Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) Alliance.

HMAS Arunta fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile off the coast of Western Australia to test its missile systems after undergoing the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program upgrade.

HMAS Arunta fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile off the coast of Western Australia to test its missile systems after undergoing the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program upgrade.

This successful missile firing demonstrates the success of the AMCAP upgrade, which enhances the frigate’s self-protection, communications, and command and control capability.

The Commanding Officer of HMAS Arunta, Commander Troy Duggan, said Arunta was the first Royal Australian Navy to fire the ESSM following an AMCAP upgrade.

Arunta’s Fire Control Officer, Leading Seaman Anthony Walsh, said the missile firing was the culmination of significant work by the ship’s company to ensure the ship was ready to fire the ESSM after leaving the dockyard at Henderson.

“We conducted numerous serials and tracking runs to test the new combat system and radar systems to make sure they were operating as expected after our upgrade,” Leading Seaman Walsh said.  

AMCAP is part of the Australian Government’s $1.2 billion Anzac Class sustainment program with Australian Defence Industry.

Homeported at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia, Arunta is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction.

She is one of seven Anzac Class Frigates progressively undergoing AMCAP upgrades, with HMAS Warramunga’s upgrade currently underway.

Imagery is available on the Navy Image Library: https://images.navy.gov.au/S20201136.