BAE Systems has completed on-dock production activities associated with the anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) upgrade of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) fifth Anzac-class frigate, HMAS Ballarat.
The vessel returned to the Material Control of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and will start work systems and sea trials with the newly installed equipment.
The ASMD upgrade and vital maintenance work involved approximately 600,000 hours by 250 employees and 30 local subcontractors.
Performed at the BAE Systems Henderson facility, the ASMD programme included upgrades to the vessel's combat management system and introduction of an infrared search and track system, as well as a phased array radar and dual navigation radar system.
The company is also making other complex engineering and structural changes to the frigates, which include enclosing the quarterdeck and modifications to accommodate the MH-60 Romeo naval helicopters.
Director of Maritime Bill Saltzer said: "BAE Systems, together with our Anzac Alliance partners, have successfully implemented the ASMD capability and other significant engineering changes on HMAS Perth, Arunta, Anzac and Warramunga.
"Productivity has improved significantly from ship to ship demonstrating the value of continuous activity.
"BAE Systems' success as prime contractor and platform system integrator also demonstrates the importance of the involvement we had in the original design and construction of the Anzac ships."
In addition to BAE, the Anzac Ship Integrated Material Support Programme Alliance includes Saab Systems and the Department of Defence Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.
Modernisation work on HMAS Parramatta is underway at the Henderson facility, while preparations are escalating to dock HMAS Toowoomba, the seventh Anzac frigate to enter the ASMD programme, at the facility next month.
Meanwhile, the eighth and last vessel in the series, HMAS Stuart will undergo the upgrade before 2017.
Image: HMAS Ballarat successfully completed ASMD upgrade and was undocked at the BAE Systems Henderson shipyard in Australia. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.