Photo of the day: Australian HMAS Toowoomba receives ESM mast

Photo: BAE Systems
Photo: BAE Systems

Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac-class frigate HMAS Toowoomba recently reached a significant milestone during her anti-ship missile defence upgrade by having the ESM mast consolidated with her aft mast structure.

BAE Systems, one of the contractors responsible for the upgrade, shared the achievement through social media.

The new ‘cupola’ mast houses the CEA-built Active Phased Array Radar which forms the backbone of the upgrade.

The ANZAC frigates use their air search radar to scan at long ranges for potential threats. Their previous radars were old and required replacement with modern technology to maintain the robust front-line capability provided by these ships.

Additionally, the ‘identification friend or foe’ (IFF) capability is being integrated and upgraded. The ship’s weapons and sensor systems will be improved and a new Royal Australian Navy ‘haze-gray’ coat of paint will be applied.

HMAS Toowoomba and Stuart are now the only frigates left to undergo the upgrade as all the other ships in the class already finished the undertaking.

The latest Anzac-class to undergo the process at BAE Systems’ Henderson shipyard was HMAS Parramatta. The frigate undocked April 19, 2016 and is expected to relocate to Fleet Base West for final harbour acceptance trials on June 29, 2016.