Home Asia Pacific Australian frigate Arunta tests ESSM after two-year AMCAP upgrade

Australian frigate Arunta tests ESSM after two-year AMCAP upgrade

ESSM firing
HMAS Arunta launches ESSM. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Arunta test fired her first Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) after completing an almost two-year mid-life overhaul.

The missile firing took place off the coast of Western Australia, over half a year after the frigate returned to sea for trials and evaluations in June 2019.

Arunta is the first of overall seven vessels in the class to complete the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade at Henderson, Western Australia, as part of Australia’s Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) Alliance.

The refit and upgrade focuses on updating the ageing platform systems, communications, installation of the long range air search radar

Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds 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 AU$1.2 billion Anzac-class sustainment program with Australian defense 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 defense, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction.