Director General of Major Surface Ships Commodore Rob Elliott recently paid a visit to HMAS Anzac to check on the progress of the latest Anzac Class frigate to undergo its Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) at Henderson Shipyard, Western Australia.
Accompanied by the Anzac Ship’s Program Office Director, Gary Watson, and the Alliance General Manager, Russell Parker, CDRE Elliott toured the upgraded communications centre, operations room and galley.
As part of the visit, CDRE Elliott was given an in-depth insight into the upgraded capabilities provided by the SEA1442 Phase 4 project (Maritime Communications Modernisation) and SEA1448 Phase 4B (Anzac Air Search Radar Replacement) project.
Anzac Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer Lieutenant Commander Chris Bobridge said the visit provided an excellent opportunity for CDRE Elliott to gauge the progress of the ship’s AMCAP.
“It was a privilege to show CDRE Elliott the upgrades taking place onboard Anzac. It also gave the command team the opportunity to discuss our current working arrangements and the efficiency of the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA),” LCDR Bobridge explained.
The aim of AMCAP is to upgrade and update the capability of the Anzac Class frigates to maintain relevance, and to ensure the class remains effective until the introduction of the Hunter Class frigates.
There are three major elements of the upgrade, that is, a new communications suite, the new air search radar and the platform systems remediation (PSR).
The PSR will see the upgrade of systems such as the propulsion control, fridges, waste management and water production.
The AMCAP upgrade is a WAMA project, which is a four-way alliance between the Commonwealth’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, Saab Australia, BAE Systems and Naval Ship Management Australia.
The WAMA partnership was launched in 2016 to support the Anzacs and includes BAE Systems Australia, Saab Australia, Naval Ship Management and the Commonwealth of Australia. It’s worth more than $2 billion over eight years.
The Henderson-based Australian Marine Complex (AMC) is integral to Australia’s frontline defence and is an important asset in maintaining the Royal Australian Navy fleet. The Common User Facility (CUF) has facilitated major works and repair programs for RAN’s Collins Class submarines, Anzac frigates and supply tankers.
The AMC-CUF is home to the world’s most technically advanced floating dock, which can lift vessels of up to 12,000 tonnes out of the water for service. Its four wharves can accommodate vessels of up to 300 metres in length and provide adequate berthing space for major works, including ship conversions, refits and repairs.
The AMC-CUF is also home to ASC West, which provides a purpose-built submarine repair facility and the WA headquarters of ASC, an Australian-owned prime defence contractor and builder of the Collins Class submarine and Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer.
ASC’s through-life support contract will see the Collins Class submarines maintained at the CUF over the next 25 years. Warfare systems developer Raytheon Australia and other defence contractors, including BAE Systems, also reside within the AMC’s precincts.