SEA to upgrade Anzac-class frigates with new communication systems

UK’s defence and security electronic system provider SEA has been awarded a contract by New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) to update the communication systems on Anzac-class frigates.

The contract, which covers the design of the communication system upgrade, is valued at £4.6 million and is scheduled to start in September 2021. This contract is for the first of two planned project phases which will deliver new capability from 2024.

SEA’s system is intended to reduce through-life costs and associated maintenance. The flexible, modular system will enable the navy to integrate equipment, including cryptos and radios, regardless of the manufacturer or supplier.

“We’re delighted to be utilising our experience in delivering and upgrading external communication systems for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s FS – Communications Project,” Richard Flitton, Managing Director at SEA, said.

“Through collaboration with our New Zealand partners, our flexible and modular external communication system will enable the Royal New Zealand Navy to maintain its technological innovation, reduce through life costs and improve communication with other navies.”

As part of the contract, SEA will work in partnership with NZ-based subcontractors to develop the new system and deliver on-the-ground training, which will include conducting a gap analysis of current knowledge and skills, followed by training tailored to the needs of the Royal New Zealand Navy.

This contract follows the successful delivery of the Ship Condition Assessment, which SEA completed during COVID-19 restrictions, in collaboration with one of its in-country partners, electrical services experts McKay, in June.