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Exercise tests upgraded missile defence system


HMAS Perth used the recently-installed phased array missile defence radar to launch two evolved sea sparrow surface to air missiles (ESSM) to hit targets during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012.

HMAS Perth has completed an advanced air warfare weapons event during a multinational firing serial at Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, the world’s largest maritime exercise in Hawaii.

HMAS Perth joined HMAS Darwin in a six-ship formation with Canadian and US ships that conducted a coordinated ‘defence’ of the group against multiple target drones that flew realistic profiles against the ships.

Perth fired two evolved sea sparrow missiles at two of the four targets and employed the Australian-designed Nulka anti-missile systems to decoy another, while the US ships fired the SM 2 missile at the remaining targets.

The Commander of Australia’s RIMPAC Contingent, Commodore Stuart Mayer, said the firings mark the culmination of more than a year of painstaking planning by the ship and the Australian Maritime Warfare Centre team.

“This firing was a keystone event in demonstrating the RAN’s ability to operate with our closest allies in the most challenging of warfare situations,” Commodore Mayer said.

“Success and defeat are managed in seconds when it comes to winning the fight at sea. Perth’s team has been put to a tough test and excelled. I am very proud of what they have achieved.”

While firings of this complexity take time to analyse, initial reports suggest outstanding results which marks another important achievement for Australia’s first upgraded Anzac-class frigate.

Perth has recently completed the Anti Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade which included the installation of an Australian-designed CEAFAR radar which is a cutting-edge phased array radar, as well as an upgraded combat system.

Perth’s Commanding Officer Captain Mal Wise said that the firings put the new system to a rigorous test and was one in which the ship and crew performed to an outstanding standard.

“This was a complex test of the CEAFAR radar and it has proven itself beyond expectations,” Captain Wise said.

“What we accomplished today is a win not only for the RAN but also for Australia’s defence industry.”