04 Agustus 2016
Two evolved sea sparrow missiles are simultaneously launched from HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) as part of a live fire exercise during Exercise RIMPAC 2016. (photo : RAN)
HMAS Ballarat has demonstrated its warfighting capability with the successful firing of six missiles during Exercise RIMPAC 2016 in Hawaii.
The Anzac Class frigate fired a Harpoon anti-ship missile, three Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles and launched its embarked MH-60R Seahawk helicopter to fire two Hellfire missiles at the ex-USS Thatch during the SINKEX (sinking exercise) on 14 July 2016.
HMAS Ballarat’s Commanding Officer, Commander David Landon, said the firing capped a successful month at the world’s largest maritime exercise where the frigate embedded with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group.
“The ship has had a very busy and successful year, our activities at RIMPAC attest to that. The ship’s company have worked tirelessly and the successful firing is a direct result of their continuous effort and hard work,” Commander Landon said.
The ex-USS Thatch during the SINKEX (sinking exercise) was used for target practice, with ships, submarines and aircraft from the US, Canada, Australia, and the Republic of Korea all taking aim (photo : Daily Mail)
“We train to hone our skills as a warfighters and being able to conduct live missile firings proves our ship’s lethality.
In the complex multi-threat warfare environment, Ballarat conducted air defence, surface and anti-submarine serials.
“Among the missile firings, we also simultaneously fired two Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles with the successful termination of each target.”
The Evolved Sea Sparrow (ESSM) is a medium range, surface-to-air missile that can destroy threats that include high speed, highly manoeuvring anti-ship cruise missiles, low velocity air threats (LVATs), high-diving threats and surface-based targets.
It can also engage attack aircraft, helicopters and ships.
Exercise RIMPAC is a multi-national activity held from 30 June to 2 August 2016 and includes more than 25,000 personnel from 26 countries.
RIMPAC seeks to enhance interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces, ostensibly as a means of promoting stability in the region to the benefit of all participating nations.
The exercise helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.