HMAS Arunta tests missile system after 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.

HMAS Arunta fires 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.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the missile firing is an important part of testing the ship’s upgraded capabilities.

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

It’s also testament to the WAMA Alliance, a partnership between the Australian Government, BAE Systems, SAAB Australia and Naval Ship Management Australia.

AMCAP is part of a $1.2 billion ANZAC Class sustainment program with Australian Defence Industry that employs about 140 workers.

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.

Upgrades ensure the frigates retain advanced operational status until new Hunter Class frigates enter service.

Image: © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence