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Australia’s Frigate Toowoomba Fires First Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile

The Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Toowoomba Anzac-class frigate has conducted a live-fire test using an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) off the coast of Western Australia.

The trial marks the first time the vessel has fired the weapon since its revamp under the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP).

Alongside the demonstration, the service validated the Toowoomba’s onboard combat systems and overall operational readiness.

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile during a workup period off the coast of Western Australia. *** Local Caption *** Anzac Class frigate HMAS Toowoomba recently conducted a successful firing of an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 1 during a shakedown period off the coast of Western Australia.The firing marked the first by HMAS Toowoomba since completing the ANZAC Class Mid-life Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade.
HMAS Toowoomba fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. Photo: Australia’s Ministry of Defence

“The purpose of Toowoomba’s ESSM firing was to verify combat system performance in the detection, tracking and engagement of manoeuvrable targets at sea,” Royal Australian Navy Lt. Cdr. Kieran Davis stated.

“The safe and successful execution of this firing involved synchronisation from many parts of the ship, including the weapons electrical department, combat systems operators, warfare officers and the navigation team.”

“Thanks to the combined efforts of the ship’s company, we were able to effectively fire an ESSM and intercept the intended target.” 

The AMCAP Program

The AMCAP program covers five Royal Australian Navy Anzac frigates.

Related works for HMAS Toowoomba were undertaken for 18 months and concluded in April 2022.

The program provided the ship with out-of-water maintenance and upgraded onboard capabilities such as communications, radar, and platform systems.

In 2019, HMAS Arunta completed the first AMCAP service. The vessel then achieved its ESSM launch demonstration the following year in Henderson.

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