Dignitaries from the Warship Asset Management Agreement and senior Navy officers joined HMAS Arunta on 19 July, for a VIP sea-day following the ship’s recent Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program upgrade.
The day, which marked Arunta’s return to service after undergoing the 20-month upgrade, included an air warfare serial to demonstrate the impressive capabilities of the new SEA 1448 Phase 4B air search radar.
Class Lifecycle Engineering Officer, Commander David Bettell, said the AMCAP upgrade ensured that Navy’s Anzac Class ships ranked among the most advanced frigates in the world.
“The aim of AMCAP is to upgrade and update the capability to maintain relevance, and to ensure the class remains effective until the introduction of the Hunter Class frigates in a few years,” he said.
“There are three major elements of the upgrade, that is, a new communications suite, the new air search radar, and the platform systems remediation (PSR).
“The PSR will see the upgrade of systems such as the propulsion control, fridges, waste management, and water production.”
Commander Bettell said the AMCAP upgrade, which comes after the Anzac frigates underwent the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) program, was a complex task that required close cooperation between Navy and its key partners.
“This was a significant challenge for industry, given the size of the work package which was beyond anything that has been undertaken in recent memory,” he said.
“In many ways, it’s the equivalent to commissioning a new ship, however despite these challenges Arunta is on schedule to achieve all program targets by the end of the year as originally planned.”
Arunta’s Ship Manager, Mr Kevin Smith, said the completion of the first AMCAP upgrade paved the way for future programs for Navy’s other seven Anzac Class frigates.
“The successful completion of the first-of-class AMCAP is great news for Navy and will ensure this class of ship remains relevant for many years to come,” he said.
Arunta will spend the next few months undertaking a series of first-of-class trials in the Western Australia Exercise Area before undergoing her Unit Readiness Evaluation towards the end of the year.
The WAMA is a four-way alliance between the Commonwealth’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Saab Australia, BAE Systems and Naval Ship Management Australia.
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