The Government of New Zealand has revealed that work is underway to upgrade the communication systems of its two Anzac-class frigates HMNZS Te Kaha and Te Mana.
The government approved the $21.2 million design of a new frigate communications system, which will include a new control system, modern radios, data and voice communication systems.
The upgrade is expected to ensure the ships can handle the increasing volume of data generated by modern communications systems, and operate with other New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) capabilities and coalition partners.
“The advances in communications technologies since the frigates were built in the mid-90s have been huge, so this is a great opportunity to future proof their communications systems,” New Zealand Minister of Defence Peeni Henare said.
“This communications upgrade will ensure the naval combat force can keep pace with changes in technology, and continue to carry out the broad range of tasks requested of it by the government.”
The minister also added that the frigate systems upgrade undertaken in Canada has seen the operational life of the frigates extended out to the mid-2030s, with enhanced combat capabilities, surveillance and counter measures.
HMNZS Te Kaha was the first of two NZ Navy frigates to undergo extensive modernization, including the ship’s new fore & aft masts.
Te Kaha’s sister ship, HMNZS Te Mana, has also went through several upgrades, including combat management system upgrades.