The first Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate to undergo the Anzac Mid Life Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade was undocked at BAE Systems’ Henderson shipyard in Western Australia.
HMAS Arunta entered water on November 30, after a 14-month refit period which started in December 2017 and required some 300,000 hours of work.
The upgrade has been undertaken collaboratively with participants of the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) which is an alliance between BAE Systems, SAAB Australia, Naval Ship Management (NSM) and the Commonwealth of Australia that provides in service support to the Anzac class frigates.
The most prominent aspect of the undertaking is the replacement of the ageing Air Search Radar capability with the new CEAFAR L-band long-range air search radar.
This new CEA Technologies radar will also be part of the combat system on board the Hunter Class Frigates which will replace the Anzac class frigates.
Other major work on Arunta included new ventilation and sewage systems, improvements to the control and monitoring system, engine modifications to improve power and efficiency, and a new communications suite (SEA1442).
HMAS Arunta will now undergo extensive testing of these new systems prior to undertaking sea trials, ahead of a planned return to service in 2019.
“This is a project that demonstrates how industry can collaborate to deliver the support the RAN requires for the upgrade, sustainment and maintenance of the surface fleet,” BAE Systems Australia Director Maritime Darren Kirkby said. “Our Williamstown team undertook the AMCAP design and the Henderson team undertook the installation on HMAS Arunta, these teams continue to provide significant sustainment, design and upgrade support to the Australian Navy.”
The entire fleet of eight Anzac Class ships will be upgraded to ensure they remain capable of achieving the operational objectives of the Royal Australian Navy until the new Hunter-class frigates enter service.