HMAS Arunta recently dusted off the mount, tested the sensor systems and did final voice procedures prior to firing their 5-inch gun for the first time in three years during sea qualification trials in the West Australian Exercise Area.
Arunta is the second of the eight Anzac Class Frigates to complete the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) Upgrade Programme. This upgrade significantly enhances the capability of the ship’s weapons and sensors systems.
After such a significant change to the ship’s layout and onboard systems the first test is whether the ship is safe to proceed to sea. The ship’s company recently achieved their competency during their mariner skills evaluation, proving navigation and machinery systems as well as the collective training of the crew in the conduct of mariner skills.
The next step is ensuring that the final tweaks are made to the systems with the testing of the combat and propulsion systems.
Arunta's Commanding Officer, Commander Dave Tietzel said part of these tests is the firing of the 5-inch gun.
“We passed so many milestones in the last few months; flashing up the galley, making way under our own propulsion and then heading to sea and passing our mariner skills evaluation.
“Throughout this time the crew have been focused, determined and professional,” Commander Tietzel said.
“It was that same approach they had to the first surface warfare serial. There was a little trepidation that we could experience a defect because the system had not been tested for a while but the professionalism of the weapons electrical sailors led to a successful and very loud first serial.
“It was a great moment to feel the shudder of the firing from the bridge. I was really proud of the ship’s company,” he said.
During the last eighteen months every compartment within Arunta has been affected with more than 30,000 metres of fibre optic cabling laid. A substantial maintenance package was also completed to ensure compliance with the tenets of seaworthiness.