Lockheed marks start of New Zealand Navy frigate refit

Royal New Zealand Navy frigate HMNZS Te Kaha has been handed over to Lockheed Martin Canada and Seaspan Victoria Shipyards for combat management system upgrade.

Following the ship’s arrival, the shipyard industrial refit phase of the ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade project will now commence.

As explained, this marks the first time that a foreign warship has been modernized in Canada since the Second World War.

“For the past four years, Lockheed Martin Canada’s Combat System Integration team has been preparing for this day by designing, integrating and testing the combat system as well as the ship platform design changes for HMNZ Ships Te Kaha and Te Mana next year. Installation of an advanced combat system will ensure New Zealand has a credible maritime combat capability,” Gary Fudge, Acting Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Canada Rotary Mission Systems (RMS), commented.

HMNZS Te Kaha arrived in Canada on March 6, where it proceeded to the Royal Canadian Navy’s Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) Cape Breton for de-storing of equipment and preservation of ship systems in preparation for the handover and start of the industrial refit.

Back in 2014, the contract for the upgrade of two Anzac-class frigates was signed between the New Zealand government and Lockheed Martin Canada. Under the terms of the contract, Lockheed Martin Canada is responsible for designing and supplying the upgraded combat system for each frigate, including a new combat management system along with the supply and integration of various sensors, a missile system and a combat systems trainer.

Lockheed Martin Canada is also responsible for the platform design and implementation and has subcontracted Seaspan Victoria Shipyards in Victoria, BC, to install the new systems on the ship platforms.

Under Lockheed Martin Canada supervision, Seaspan Shipyards will refit and install the new systems with an expected completion date of 2020 for the entire contract.

The second frigate, HMNZS Te Mana, is scheduled to arrive in 2019.