Upgraded program include improved anti-ship missile defence; on board training system; electronic support system; tactical data link capability; and underwater warfare system (photo : NavyGovAu)
Australia's Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) announced on 29 May that it had agreed to the contractual hand back and Provisional Acceptance of the Adelaide class guided missile frigate (FFG) HMAS Newcastle from the prime contractor, Thales Australia.
HMAS Newcastle was the fourth and final Adelaide class frigate to be upgraded by Thales. A contract for the upgrade of the FFGs was signed in 1999. Under Project SEA 1390 Phase 2.1.
The project seeks to regain a comparative regional maritime capability for the Royal Australian Navy by upgrading four (originally six) Adelaide class FFGs, and ensure that they remain effective and supportable through to their planned end of life in 2013 ? 2021.
The FFGs have been upgraded with improved anti-ship missile defence; on board training system; electronic support system; tactical data link capability; underwater warfare system, ship service diesel generator's and other ship systems, as well as establish shore based operator and team trainers and a Warfare System Support Centre.
The original programme ran in to difficulties and the provisional acceptance of HMAS Newcastle is being made within the timetable for provisional acceptance as within the amended schedule agreed in May 2006. Contractual Acceptance of HMAS Newcastle is scheduled for December 2009 and Project completion 31 December 2009.
DMO said that, 'continued collaboration between DMO and Thales has led to improved progress with trials, delivery and support for upgraded ship systems.'
(Asian Military Review)