BAE Systems prepares for Anzac midlife upgrade, as eighth ship completes ASMD

HMAS Stuart undocking 2_16x9
HMAS Stuart is the eighth Anzac class frigate to receive the ASMD upgrade. (BAE Systems)

Anzac class frigate HMAS Stuart has completed the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade at the Henderson, Western Australia, site of BAE Systems Australia.

After 600,000 hours of work, the ship will now undergo sea trials prior to resuming service with the Royal Australian Navy, the company stated.

While at Henderson, the ship’s combat management system was upgraded and an infrared search and track system installed, as well as a phased array radar and dual navigation radar system. A number of other complex engineering and structural changes were also made, including enclosing the quarterdeck and modifications to accommodate helicopters.

“The upgrade of the fleet will provide sustained protection against anti-ship missile attack, which is an essential element of Australia’s maritime capability,” said BAE Systems Australia chief executive Glynn Phillips.

“I am delighted that by working very closely with the RAN the team has delivered this incredibly complex project ahead of schedule. As well as the capability of our workforce, we relied on a healthy and vibrant shipbuilding industry to deliver this critical program to the Navy.”

Meanwhile, BAE Systems is now preparing HMAS Perth (the first frigate to have received the ASMD upgrade) for some initial work as part of the Anzac midlife capability upgrade program, which will take several months; Perth will return at a future date for the remainder of the upgrades to be implemented.

The $2 billion, six-year contract includes improvements to the Anzac fleet in areas such as engines, propulsion, lighting, heating, cooling and communications systems, torpedo self-defence and Nulka active missile decoy enhancements.

HMAS Arunta is scheduled to dock at Henderson in September, and will be the first ship to receive all of the upgrades during 12 months on the hardstand.