Video: HMAS Melbourne tests Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile

Royal Australian Navy’s Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) successfully launched an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) in a test off the east coast of Australia.

The navy shared a video of the event and added that the missile firing was the first conducted in Automatic Self Defence (ASD) mode from one of three guided missile frigates (FFG) still in service.

“This (ASD mode) involves taking the human operator out of the loop in order to achieve a faster engagement,” HMAS Melbourne’s air warfare officer LEUT Rhys Ryan said.

The test was conducted as part of HMAS Melbourne’s three week sea qualification trials following a period of dry docking and maintenance which the frigate had been undergoing for much of the year after returning from a Middle East deployment in February.

The ESSM is a short range, self defence weapon, optimized for anti-ship missile defense. It was developed by the U.S. Navy and nine of the other 11-member nations of the NATO SEASPARROW Consortium. Members of the Consortium include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United States.