After 600,000 hours of work, the Anzac Class frigate HMAS Stuart was farewelled by BAE Systems Australia at the company’s Henderson, Western Australia, site.
HMAS Stuart will now undergo sea trials prior to resuming service.
During the ship's time at Henderson the 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. Other complex engineering and structural changes were also made including enclosing the quarterdeck and modifications to accommodate RAN helicopters.
BAE Systems Australia (BAES Australia) CEO Glynn Phillips said the upgrades provided are essential to Australia's maritime capability.
"The upgrade of the fleet will provide sustained protection against anti-ship missile attack, which is an essential element of Australia's maritime capability. I am delighted that, by working very closely with the RAN, the team has delivered this incredibly complex project ahead of schedule," Phillips said.
"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."
The HMA ships upgraded as part of this program were Perth, Arunta, Anzac, Warramunga, Ballarat, Parramatta, Toowoomba and Stuart.
BAES Australia said more than 500 people were engaged throughout the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) element of the docking. A further 200 people from 35 small to medium enterprises and over 100 local suppliers were needed to support the engineering and structural changes made to each ship.
BAE Systems is now preparing HMAS Perth 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 Anzac fleet including engines, propulsion, lighting, heating, cooling and communications systems, torpedo self-defence, and Nulka enhancements.
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HMAS Arunta is scheduled for docking at Henderson in September this year. Arunta will be the first ship to receive all of the upgrades during her 12 months on the hard stand at BAE Systems Henderson.