The Royal Australian Navy Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Anzac (FFH 150) has completed the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade, the service announced.
HMAS Anzac recently sailed to her homeport of Fleet Base West, Garden Island, Western Australia, where she was joined by her sister ship HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) which completed the program in 2019.
Frigate Group Capability Manager’s Representative, Captain Dugald Clelland, said AMCAP represented a major milestone in the operational life of Navy’s Anzac Class Frigates.
“The aim of AMCAP is to ensure our Frigates remain at the forefront of regional surface combatant capability until the new Hunter Class Frigate is introduced into service later this decade. AMCAP consists of three major elements, the most striking is the new air search radar that visually differentiates a post-AMCAP ship from its pre-upgrade counterparts,” Captain Clelland said.
“The Project SEA 1448 Phase 4B component of the upgrade improves the Anzac Class Air Search capability by replacing the aging AN/SPS-49 long-range air search radar with a new digital phased array radar developed by Australian company CEA Technologies. The program also focuses on a significant upgrade of the ship’s communications facilities, as well as a general platform systems remediation (PSR) program,” he added.
The PSR will see the upgrade of systems such as propulsion control, fridges, waste management and water production.
Anzac’s Commanding Officer Commander Brendan Horn said after an 81-week maintenance and upgrade period, he and his ship’s company were happy to be back at Fleet Base West.
“Anzac is really well placed to complete sea trials and return to the fleet as an operational ship,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of the crew and I know everyone is enthusiastic about getting back to sea.”
Captain Clelland said the AMCAP, which comes after the Anzac Class Frigates underwent the Anti-Ship Missile Defence program, was a complex task that required close cooperation between Navy and its key partners.
“The size and complexity of such a program presents significant challenges for all involved in AMCAP,” Captain Clelland said. “The successful completion of the second AMCAP is a significant achievement for Navy, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, and Industry, and will ensure this class of ship remains lethal for years to come.”
HMAS Anzac is the second Anzac Class Frigate to undergo the AMCAP upgrade after HMAS Arunta. The third ship to undergo AMCAP is HMAS Warramunga (FFH 152), which is currently docked at Henderson Shipyard.
The AMCAP upgrade is being undertaken at Henderson by the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) Alliance to keep the Anzac-class ships in service until they are replaced by the Hunter class frigates, a version of BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship. WAMA is a strategic partnership that includes BAE Systems Australia, Saab Australia Pty Ltd, Naval Ship Management Pty Ltd and the Commonwealth of Australia.