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Sea trials for upgraded HMAS Arunta ANZAC class frigate of Australian Navy


Australian Navy 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.HMAS Arunta (II) is the second of eight Anzac class frigates built by Tenix Defence Systems at Williamstown, Victoria for the Royal Australian Navy. The design is based on the German Meko 200 frigate.


Sea trials for upgraded HMAS Arunta ANZAC class frigate of Australian Navy 925 001 HMAS Arunta has recently returned to Fleet Base West after a 20-month Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade which includes a platform systems remediation program to improve platform reliability and maintainability. (Picture source Australian Navy)


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.

Arunta is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. Arunta's combat capabilities have been significantly improved under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program, a world class program that provides an enhanced sensor and weapons systems capability. The upgrade showcases Australian design and integration capability, with new Phased Array Radar technology designed by CEA Technologies in Canberra, upgrades to combat systems performed by Saab Systems in South Australia, and platform integration design by BAE Systems in Victoria.

Arunta is fitted with an advanced package of air and surface surveillance radars; omni-directional hull mounted sonar and electronic support systems that interface with the state-of-the-art 9LV453 Mk3E combat data system. The ship can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.

The ship's main armament comprises one Mark 45 capable of firing 20 rounds per minute, ship launched Mark 46 torpedoes and a Mark 41 vertical launch system for the Evolved Sea Sparrow missile. Arunta also has eight anti-ship/land attach canister launched harpoon missiles and a vertical launch system for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. The ship's other defence systems include the Nulka active missile decoy system, offboard chaff and a torpedo countermeasures system.