01 December, 2023
Two successful missile firings from frigate HMNZS Te Mana signalled the final tick for both Te Mana and HMNZS Te Kaha’s capability release following their Frigate Systems Upgrade.
This week HMNZS Te Mana conducted two Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missile firings in the East Australia Exercise Area, which completes the final part of the frigate’s testing and evaluation process.
This was the first test firing of the Sea Ceptor since the Anzac-class frigates had received the missile system during their combat, surveillance and counter-measures upgrade in Canada.
The ‘threats’ were uncrewed aerial platforms, two-metre long drones, simulating inbound missiles. One was aimed at Te Mana and, two days later, one was targeted away from Te Mana to replicate an attack on another vessel operating with the ship.
The ship’s Combat Management System identified and classified both threats and Sea Ceptor missiles were launched, intercepting and destroying the targets.
This test has demonstrated that the frigates have an increased ability to both defend themselves and defend another ship.
All other aspects of the two Anzac frigates’ surveillance, counter measures, self-defence capability and Combat Management System have been already been proven. This now means the frigates move from a solely ‘defend self’ position to a ‘defend others’ capability which allows for the missile defence of any other platform the frigates are operating with.
According to the manufacturer, the 3.2-metre Sea Ceptor has a range in excess of 25 kilometres.