Air Affairs Australia (AAA) has been involved in the recent successful missile firing carried out in Australian waters by HMAS Arunta as part of the frigate’s acceptance after the successful completion of the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade.
AAA provided a Phoenix Jet unmanned aerial target (UAT) that was successfully launched and flown towards HMAS Arunta in order to emulate a realistic airborne threat. During an attack profile that was flown, HMAS Arunta responded with a missile launch that successfully tracked and engaged the Phoenix Jet UAT.
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.
AAA congratulated Arunta’s Commanding Officer, Commander Troy Duggan, and the crew onboard Arunta, together with Maritime Warfare Centre personnel, on this successful firing.
The Air Affairs Australia Phoenix Jet is a remotely piloted aircraft that operates as a UAT in support of the Australian Defence Force weapons tracking and firing programs.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds welcomed the milestone achievement, saying the missile firing was 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."
The fully deployable Phoenix Jet UAT system comprises a mobile launcher, ground control station and support equipment. The complete system can be easily transported for operations at several approved ADF ranges or can be adapted for shipboard launch at sea.
The aim of AMCAP is to upgrade and update the capability of the Anzac Class frigates to maintain relevance, and to ensure the class remains effective until the introduction of the Hunter Class frigates.
Homeported at HMAS Stirling in WA, Arunta is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction.
The Anzac Class frigate is the first of her class to undergo the AMCAP upgrade at Henderson, Western Australia, as part of Australia’s Warship Asset Management Agreement Alliance.