HMAS Arunta tests missile system after upgrade

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Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for Defence

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Nicky Hamer (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 989 927

Defence Media (02) 6127 1999,

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12 March 2020

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.

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 this Government’s $1.2 billion ANZAC Class sustainment program with Australian Defence Industry, which directly employs more than 140 workers while providing ongoing opportunities for small businesses in Henderson.”

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. 

“These upgrades will ensure the frigates remain one of the most advanced in the world, until the Hunter Class frigates enter service,” Minister Reynolds said. 

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