The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Anzac-class frigate HMAS Arunta has rejoined the fleet following completion of a 20-month-long Anzac mid-life capability assurance programme (AMCAP) upgrade.

The programme is designed to provide enhancements to the ship’s key sensor and communications systems. The successful upgrade performed at BAE Systems’ Henderson facility makes Arunta the first ship to undergo the AMCAP programme.

AMCAP upgrade was performed by Australia’s Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) Alliance, which is a partnership between the national government, BAE Systems, Saab Australia and Naval Ship Management Australia.

BAE Systems Australia is the prime contractor on an eight-year programme to maintain the Anzac fleet.

HMAS Arunta commanding officer commander Troy Duggan said: “Rejoining the fleet marks an incredible achievement by the ship’s company, our support organisations, and our Australian defence industry partners in the WAMA Alliance.

“We have worked hard together to deliver one of the world’s most advanced warships, and are looking forward to getting underway for sea trials very soon.”

As part of the upgrade, the ship underwent a platform systems remediation programme for improved reliability and maintainability.

The upgrade involved replacing the Anzac-class ship’s legacy long-range air search radar with new digital phased array radar. This is intended to enhance air search capabilities.

In addition, enhancements included an upgrade to the ship’s communications systems to help improve capabilities.

Arunta will soon undergo extensive testing and sea trials as part of the upgrade. Last month, the ship undertook an inclining experiment to test stability at Henderson Shipyard, Western Australia.

Australia seeks to replace the Anzac-class frigate in the 2030s with nine Hunter-class future frigates.