The new mast is the second to be manufactured by BAE Systems as part of the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) between BAE Systems, SAAB Australia, Naval Ship Management (NSM) and the Commonwealth of Australia. The first mast was manufactured for HMAS Arunta.
Around 650 people are currently working on the upgrade of the Anzac Class frigate fleet, including 400 BAE Systems Australia employees.
The mast installation is one of the last major works on the HMAS Anzac ahead of her undocking later this year. She will then undertake sea trials ahead of a planned return to service in 2020.
The replacement mast is taller and wider than the existing mast so that it can accommodate the new CEA L-Band radar system, while retaining the existing anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) radar capability.
The new L-Band high power active phase array radar incorporating an integrated ‘friend and foe’ capability replaces the previous AN/SPS-49(V)8 radar system. This new radar complements the existing ASMD radar system and is integrated into the existing combat management systems of the ship by SAAB Australia.
BAE Systems chief executive Gabby Costigan said, "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."
HMAS Anzac arrived at Henderson in September 2018. As part of her AMCAP upgrade she will have:
- Upgraded ventilation systems;
- New sewage systems;
- Improvements to the control and monitory system;
- Engine modifications to improve power and efficiency; and
- A new communications suite.
As well, the control and monitoring system of the ship has also received a technological refresh, replacing existing analogue technology with digital. This is the first time such a technology refresh has been undertaken on such a large scale on the Anzac Class ships and follows the successful upgrade to HMAS Arunta, completed earlier this year. Integration of the communications system into the existing ship's data communications systems has been closely managed during design by Melbourne-based defence communications company Leonardo.
"The new Australian L-Band active phased array radar will provide the RAN with a world-leading capability that will support its operational requirements well into the future," Costigan explained.