Australian Navy’s upgraded frigate fires missiles at RIMPAC 2020

HMAS Arunta, Royal Australian Navy’s first frigate to complete the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade, has successfully fired surface-to-air missiles at Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) in Hawaii.

Royal Australian Navy
Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Conducted alongside ships from Canada and the United States, Commanding Officer HMAS Arunta Commander Troy Duggan said the firing demonstrated the lethality of the upgraded Anzac class frigate and its Australian systems.

“This is the first time an AMCAP frigate has participated in RIMPAC, and demonstrates the capability of the new phased array radar suite as an integrated sensor for the combat system,” Commander Duggan said.

Completed in 2019, the upgrade provides the frigate the first CEAFAR2-L long-range phased-array air search radar. This radar technology has been designed in Australia to provide long-range situational awareness to the ship and allied units.

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Missile firings are conducted on the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

The range used remote-controlled drones to simulate missile attack profiles against Arunta, and the ship engaged them with surface-to-air missiles.

“These sorts of complex warfighting exercises with multinational partners demonstrate that the Royal Australian Navy is able to operate seamlessly with other highly advanced navies in our region,” according to Duggan.

Royal Australian Navy ships Hobart, Stuart, Arunta and Sirius are taking part in Exercise RIMPAC in Hawaii, being held from August 17 to 31, 2020.

Ten nations, 22 surface ships, one submarine, multiple aircraft, and about 5300 personnel are participating in this iteration of the biggest international naval exercise.

It includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States.

Participating forces are exercising a wide range of capabilities, including multinational anti-submarine warfare, maritime intercept operations, and live-fire training events.