The RAN has successfully test fired a Raytheon SM-2 surface-to-air missile from the FFG frigate HMAS Melbourne during a test at the off the East Australian Exercise Area off Jervis Bay on the NSW south coast.
The SM-2 will provide the RAN with an enhanced medium to long range anti-air capability, and has been introduced on the four remaining Adelaide class frigates as part of the FFG-UP program over the past few years.
“HMAS Melbourne is now equipped with two modern missile systems to combat anti-ship missiles and aircraft,” said Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, Greg Combet in a statement. “The missile was fired from the missile launching system that has recently been modified as part of the project to replace the SM-1 in the upgraded FFG. This firing is a significant achievement and provides confidence in the ship’s updated weapon control system.”
The FFG-UP program was previously considered a ‘program of risk’ but has turned the corner in the past couple of years following the intervention of Minister Combet and an improved working relationship between industry and Defence. All four vessels have been re-delivered to the RAN.