4 Agustus 2009
Anzac class frigates (photo : Janes)
Australia's Minister for Defence has formally announced the comprehensive upgrade of Australia's Anzac frigate fleet as part of the anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) programme, as indicated in the recently released Defence White Paper.
The programme, announced by Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, along with the Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, Greg Combet, will include a comprehensive upgrade of the Anzac frigates, and will also include the addition of innovative phased array radar technology designed and built by Australian company, CEA Technologies.
Pending the outcome of sea trials on the first ship, HMAS Perth, in July 2011, the Anzac-class frigates will be upgraded at a cost of A$158 million. If successful, this first lightweight application of such technology will deliver 'an enhanced search and track and target illumination capability in the maritime environment', and will ensure the fleet are able to operate effectively for the remainder of their operational lives.
Senator Faulkner said of the decision, 'the ASMD program will ensure the Royal Australian Navy's Anzac frigates have a far greater level of self-defence against modern anti-ship missiles. It will also improve the ability of the frigates to provide close-in protection to an amphibious maritime task group and support the Navy's future air warfare destroyer capability.'
Mr Combet said, 'this challenging project has experienced delays, so it is pleasing to see this level of technical maturity and managed risk being achieved. However, full integration of the radar into the Anzac frigates is yet to be completed, and the Government will continue to closely monitor the progress of this project'.
The first ship installation is expected to begin in 2010.
(Asian Military Review)