• The Phoenix dual launch tested the Aegis combat systems on RAN destroyers. Supplied
    The Phoenix dual launch tested the Aegis combat systems on RAN destroyers. Supplied

In early December 2020, Air Affairs Australia participated in a large naval exercise within the Eastern Exercise Area and completed the first ever dual Phoenix target presentation.

The operation provided a double low level threat emulation against HMA Ships Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney. This was the first time these ships had exercised together.

The dual Phoenix presentation gave the ships an opportunity to exercise their Aegis Combat Systems. The mission profile required both targets to be at their planned start points to commence their “attack” within 10 seconds of each other, at low altitude and a speed of 300kts.

In a statement, Air Affairs said: “To achieve this accuracy, the second target was launched precisely four minutes and 40 seconds following the first launch. The four person flight crew then carefully managed the speed of the second target to ensure the timing was achieved exactly as required by the Navy.

“Both targets flew faultlessly and turned precisely together to initially attack two of the ships. During the attack one target was commanded to break away and switch its attack profile in order to threaten the third ship. This switch was included purposely to help test the combat system response of all three destroyers.

“Both HMAS Hobart and HMAS Brisbane then successfully fired a Standard Missile 2 each against the attacking Phoenix targets.
“Following the mission, the Navy congratulated the Air Affairs Australia target team and advised that the attack profiles were perfectly executed and were extremely happy with their results.”

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