HMAS Arunta Undocking After Major Upgrade


On 28 November 2018, after more than 400 days out of the water, Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Arunta undocked to finalise her midlife capability assurance program upgrade at BAE Henderson Dockyard, Western Australia.

The upgrade included significant improvements to major platform systems such as the communications centre, radar systems and mast design.

HMAS Arunta (II) is the second of eight Anzac class frigates built by Tenix Defence Systems at Williamstown, Victoria for the Royal Australian Navy, she was commissioned in 1998.

Arunta is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction.

Andrew McLaughlin highlighted the importance of the upgrade process in an article published on December 3, 2018 on the HMAS Arunta undocking.

The first RAN Anzac class frigate to undergo the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade, HMAS Arunta, has been undocked at BAE Systems Australia’s Henderson dockyard in WA.

The vessel completed the 13-month docking period after being fitted with a new mast housing the CEAFAR L-band long-range air search radar.

Other systems integrated to the vessel include upgraded ventilation systems, new sewage systems, improvements to the Control and Monitoring System, engine modifications to improve power and efficiency, and a new communications suite under Project SEA1442.

“Today marks a significant point in the AMCAP upgrade and is only possible thanks to the huge effort put in by a dedicated group of people,” Arunta Acting Commanding Officer, LTCDR Aaron Scott, said in a statement. “While there is still some work to go before Arunta sails, we should be extremely proud of what we have achieved so far.”

BAE Systems Australia Director Maritime Darren Kirkby said, “This is a project that demonstrates how industry can collaborate to deliver the support the RAN requires for the upgrade, sustainment and maintenance of the surface fleet.

“Our Williamstown team undertook the AMCAP design and the Henderson team undertook the installation on HMAS Arunta, these teams continue to provide significant sustainment, design and upgrade support to the Australian Navy.”

Two other Anzac vessels, HMA Ships Perth and Anzac are currently being upgraded at Henderson, and it is planned all eight Anzac class frigates will have completed their AMCAP upgrade by 2023.

The initial text comes from the posting of the images by the Australian Department of Defence on November 28, 2018.