Australian Anzac-class frigates complete anti-ship missile defense upgrade program

Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac-class frigate HMAS Stuart is set to complete her anti-ship missile defense upgrade this week, marking the completion of an Australian Navy capability upgrade program that spanned seven years.

Completion of works on HMAS Stuart was announced by contractor BAE Systems who spent the last twelve months working on the final of eight frigates in the class to undergo the upgrade.

The frigate will spend the next few months performing builder’s and sea trials before it returns to the fleet later this year.

During work on the anti-ship missile defense upgrade, the frigates received a new ‘cupola’ mast to house the CEA Phased Array Radar, underwent engineering changes and received a coat of the new Royal Australian Navy ‘haze grey’ paint.

Saab Australia and BAE Systems are the main contractors responsible for upgrading the frigates. HMAS Perth was the first frigate to complete the upgrade in 2011 and HMAS Towoomba, the seventh ASMD-ready frigate undocked on September 13, 2016.

BAE Systems has also started preparatory works on HMS Perth for the Anzac Midlife Capability upgrade Program which will take several months. She will return at a future date for the remainder of the upgrades to be implemented, the company said.

The Midlife Capability upgrade Program is part of a $2 billion, six-year contract which includes improvements to the Anzac fleet including engines, propulsion, lighting, heating, cooling and communications systems, torpedo self-defence, and Nulka enhancements.

HMAS Arunta is scheduled for docking at Henderson in September this year. She will be the first ship to receive all of her upgrades during her 12 months on the hard stand at BAE Systems Henderson.