Australian Navy shares anti ship missile defence upgrade milestone

The Royal Australian Navy said the Anzac-class frigate Anti Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade program reached a milestone at the BAE Systems Shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.

Navy personnel joined counterparts from the Australian Public Service, BAE Systems, CEA Technologies, SAAB Systems and a number of other organisations on September 2 to witness the final time two Anzac Class frigates would be in dry dock together.

Surface Combatant Group Capability Manager Representative Captain (CAPT) Michael Turner said with HMAS Toowoomba due to undock on September 13 and Stuart deep into her upgrade, the end of the ASMD program was now in sight.

“It’s important for us to pause and acknowledge both the significant achievements made by the people here today, and those who couldn’t be here, to deliver these world-leading upgraded frigates and also the incredible reach this project has in terms of the people required to deliver it,” CAPT Turner said.

“Each ship docks for approximately 12 months to facilitate the significant structural work required to install the new mast to support the Phased Array Radar system, a coating of the new haze grey livery and other docking dependant tasks.”

“This is followed by several months alongside conducting harbour acceptance trials and system work, and culminates in a month-long sea trial period before the ship is formally returned to full Royal Australian Navy service.”

Work started on the first upgrade in 2010 when HMAS Perth went through the ASMD program.

Over the next six years, the entire fleet of Anzac Class frigates took their turn on the Henderson hardstand with Stuart due to be delivered back to Navy in late 2017.

ASMD Program Delivery Manager, Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Felicity Petrie said the upgraded capabilities of Navy’s Anzac-class frigates have been on display in various parts of the world over the past few years.

“As well as performing operational duties in the Middle East, upgraded frigates have deployed all over the globe,” she said.

“HMAS Anzac proceeded on a world deployment in 2015, culminating in participation in the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing in Turkey, while both Warramunga and Ballarat recently completed successful deployments as part of Exercise RIMPAC.”

Stuart’s delivery back into Navy service will conclude one of the most significant upgrade programs ever undertaken by the Royal Australian Navy.