Archive News 2021

February 2021 - Dual Phoenix Flight

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 3 of the Navy’s most advanced fighting ships, Air Warfare Destroyers, HMA Ships Hobart, Brisbane & 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 that provides the Destroyers with advanced layered offensive and defensive capabilities to counter conventional and asymmetrical threats.

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.  To achieve this accuracy, the second target was launched precisely 4 minutes & 40 seconds following the first launch. The 4 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.   Air Affairs would also like to congratulate the Commanding Officers and crews on board the ships as well as Maritime Warfare Centre personnel.  Of note also was that embarked on board HMAS Hobart to watch the firings was the Minister for Defence Industry the Hon Melissa Price.

This is a tremendous achievement for our very first dual target mission. 

Air Affairs VH-LJA firescan