August 3, 2009 -- The Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, and Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, Greg Combet, today formally announced the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the Anzac class frigates are able to operate effectively for the remainder of their operational lives.
As indicated in the recently released Defence White Paper, the Government has agreed to put all of the Anzac ships through the anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) program, subject to the successful outcome of sea trials on the first ship.
The ASMD program involves a comprehensive upgrade of the Anzac frigates, including the addition of innovative phased array radar technology designed and built by an Australian company, CEA Technologies.
The Government is committed to completing the development and trials of this highly innovative Australian designed technology at a cost of $158 million.
This is the first lightweight application of such technology and, if successful, will deliver an enhanced search and track and target illumination capability in the maritime environment.
“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,” Senator Faulkner said.
In a very encouraging outcome for the development of this high-technology system, the prototype radar has performed beyond expectations throughout the testing and evaluation process.
“Over the last 12 months, the practical demonstration of this phased array radar technology has provided the Government with confidence that the new acquisition strategy will maximise the integrity and maturity of the system before beginning the first ship installation in 2010,” 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 Anzac ship to undergo the upgrade is HMAS Perth which is scheduled to complete sea trails in July 2011.