The Australian FFG upgrade programme has moved a step forward with the navy’s acceptance of the final Adelaide Class guided missile-armed frigate HMAS Newcastle (FFG-06) ahead of schedule from Thales Australia.

Thales Australia Naval Division vice-president Chris Lloyd said that the FFG upgrade has been an enormous and complex undertaking, so the company is pleased to see the final ship accepted ahead of schedule.

“HMAS Newcastle is now a highly capable warship because of these enhancements, which have involved extensive cooperation between the navy, the DMO, Thales and many highly skilled subcontractors,” he said.

During the upgrade programme the ship was equipped with evolved Sea Sparrow missiles, on-board electronic support systems, tactical data link capability, underwater warfare systems, training systems and ship service diesel generators.

Other upgrades include new combat system architecture, hardware and shipboard production activities, software development and integration,electronic support and combat system radars and automatic integration and detection all equipped radars.

The FFG upgrade programme for four Adelaide Class ships was intended to expand their service life to approximately 2021. Upgrade work for the ships was conducted at ADI’s Garden Island Facility in Sydney.