The Australian Navy’s lead Anzac Class Frigate, HMAS Anzac is commencing the harbour acceptance trials phase of her Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade and has achieved a significant milestone along her journey of returning to sea – returning to HMAS Stirling.
Aided by tugs in what is called a ‘cold move’ as no engines are started, the ship transited Cockburn Sound from the complex at Henderson to Fleet Base West, early in the morning.
The new crew closed up to their respective parts of ship and the ship was loaded into the lift, an exciting moment for the crew said Commanding Officer, Commander Matthew Doornbos.
“After the months of upgrade work which included installation of the phased array radar and fire control system, upgraded combat system including Link 16 tactical data link and new navigation radar and electro-optical surveillance system, it was such a pleasure to see the ship in the water.
“She sits fairly high in the water but once we load all of the equipment and stores back on in the coming weeks and months, she will settle to the usual level,” Commander Doornbos said.
“Although Anzac has been in ASMD for the past 12 months, we have worked closely with the Anzac Ship Project Office and Frigate Group since May to assist in delivering the package safely and in a timely manner,” he said.
The ASMD upgrade program significantly enhances the capability of the ship’s weapons and sensors systems. In addition to this a substantial maintenance package was also completed to ensure compliance with the tenets of seaworthiness.
The move across to Fleet Base West will allow Anzac to commence the harbour acceptance trials.
“During the harbour acceptance trials the ship’s company and contractors will work to integrate the legacy and new sensors into the upgraded combat system as well as restoring the ship’s engineering plant.
“A key milestone has already been achieved when the ship’s company of HMAS Ballarat changed platform to become HMAS Anzac ship’s company.
“Our goal is to get to sea as directed by Chief of Navy and get the Fleet Base East based personnel home. We have an demanding program for the remainder of 2014 in preparing Anzac to deploy for participation in the 2015 Anzac Day activities in Anzac Cove and we are looking forward to achieving the third successful ASMD Upgrade in the Fleet,” Commander Doornbos said.