Sept. 9 (UPI) — The mast of the Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac was installed on Monday, a milestone in its mid-life upgrade, BAE systems announced.
The upgrade, the latest in a series of upgrades to the Anzac-class frigates, is meant to allow the ship to remain in service until being replaced with nine Hunter-class frigates, the first of which is expected to be launched in the late 2020s, the company said in a press release.
The Anzac was launched in 1996 and will return to the sea, after trials, in 2020.
Sister ships HMAS Perth and HMAS Arunta, each Anzac-class frigates, have also received the Navy’s Mid-Life Capability Assurance Program.
About 650 people are at work, since September 2018, on the improvements to the HMAS Anzac at BAE’s facilities in Henderson, near the city of Perth in Western Australia.
The replacement mast is taller and wider to accommodate the new CEA L-Band radar system, while retaining the existing Anti-Ship Missile Defense radar capability.
The improvements also include upgraded ventilation systems, new sewage systems, improvements to the ship’s control and monitoring system, engine modifications to improve power and efficiency and a new communications suite.
“The successful integration of the mast onto HMAS Anzac demonstrates the important maritime engineering capability that the company has developed and maintained having built and provided front line support for these mighty warships for more than three decades,” said Gabby Costigan, BAE Systems CEO. “The new Australian L-Band active phased array radar will provide the RAN [Royal Australian Navy] with a world-leading capability that will support its operational requirements well into the future.”