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Navy, Air Force Successfully Test Fire Missile

Navy, Air Force Successfully Test Fire Missile

maverick missile
from a Seasprite launched from the Navy's frigate HMNZS TE
Click to enlarge

Today's live firing of a maverick missile from a Seasprite launched from the Navy's frigate HMNZS TE KAHA

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release
5 September 2008


Two air-to-surface live missile firings were successfully conducted today in a joint exercise involving New Zealand’s Navy and Air Force.

In a joint operation utilising the Navy Frigate TE KAHA, Naval Seasprite Helicopters from 6 Squadron and an Air Force P3 Orion, two AGM65 Maverick air-to-surface missiles were test fired at 9.45am.

Maritime Component Commander, Commodore Tony Parr says that in a first, the Mavericks were fired from Naval Seasprite Helicopters against two targets at sea east of Great Barrier Island.

“This is an important demonstration of the Seasprite and Maverick missile capability. It is also a very good example of sailors and airmen working together to bring to bear that capability,” he says.

“The activity involved a ‘start to finish’ validation of current Royal New Zealand Navy and Royal New Zealand Air Force standing operating procedures, orders and instructions, and to verify the Seasprite as a firing platform for the Maverick missile.”

Commodore Parr says the ‘Maverick’ missile was introduced to service seven years ago by the New Zealand Defence Force but this was the first live-firing from a SH-2G (NZ) Seasprite, against either maritime or land targets.

“Regular weapons firings are part of our development and maintenance of operational capability,” he says. “Exercises like today’s allow air and ground crews to practice preparation, loading and firing procedures – as well as the handling of live forward firing ordnance on board our ships.”

Commander Mat Williams, Commanding Officer of HMNZS TE KAHA says: “The firing was very successful, the air-to-surface missile performed as expected and has proven the capability”.


Notes for Editors:

The TE KAHA is one of two frigates, the other being TE MANA, that make up New Zealand’s Naval combat force.

In the last year they contributed a total of 247 sea days participating in coalition maritime operations in the Persian Gulf, and a range of bilateral exercise and training with countries such as Malaysia, Japan, Singapore and Australia.

In addition, they worked alongside our Naval support forces including the multi role vessel Canterbury, as well as the Endeavour, Kiwi, Kahu, Resolution and Wakakura delivering:

• 61 days at sea conducting good will/diplomacy visits with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ports in Western Samoa, Malaysia, Japan, China, the Phillipines, Australia, United Arab Emirites, Qatar and Bahrain

• 85 days at sea supporting fisheries patrols off the New Zealand coast

• 90 days at sea patrolling in support of the NZ Customs Service; and

• Were available and responded to maritime emergencies.

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