RAN ANZAC class frigate HMAS Arunta has returned to sea for trials after completing the Project SEA 1448 Phase 4/4B ANZAC Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade.
The vessel, the first of the ANZAC class to receive the upgrade, was undocked last December and conducted stability tests in May. The upgrade, which saw the replacement of Arunta’s AN/SPS-49 long range air search radar with a new CEA CEAFAR2-L phased array radar, a new IFF system, and an upgrade to the ship’s communications systems, took 20 months to complete at the Henderson shipyard adjacent to Fleet Base West south of Perth.
The Phase 4 AMCAP upgrade follows the previous SEA 1448 Phase 2/2A/2B anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) upgrade which was completed across all eight ANZAC vessels in 2017. These previous phases saw the combat management system upgraded to the SAAB 9LV 453 Mk.3E, the installation of a Sagem Vampir NG Infra-Red Search & Track (IRST) system, and the integration of the CEA CEAFAR phased array radar and dual navigation radar system.
While Arunta is the first of the ANZACs to return to sea after AMCAP, two other vessels are also undergoing the upgrade at Henderson, with HMAS Anzac being inducted last December, and HMAS Perth early last year. All eight ANZAC vessels are scheduled to have completed the AMCAP upgrade by 2023.