The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Anzac-class frigate, HMAS Toowoomba, has successfully completed the Anzac midlife capability assurance programme (AMCAP).

Following the 18-month maintenance period, the ship has returned to Henderson shipyard in Western Australia on 12 April.

HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156), nicknamed Purple Pony, is the RAN’s fifth of eight Anzac-class frigates to complete the dry production phase of the AMCAP. 

AMCAP is the part of Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) signed between Commonwealth of Australia, BAE Systems, SAAB Australia, and Naval Ship Management (NSM) to support Anzac-class fleet.

The RAN’s midlife maintenance programme aims to provide out-of-water maintenance and other capability upgrades to the Anzac-class fleet.

The programme also includes installation of long-range air search radar, updating the platform systems, communications, and other maintenance works.

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HMAS Toowoomba commanding officer commander Darin MacDonald said: “The AMCAP programme is an ongoing collaboration between Defence and industry partners.

“Toowoomba has been the beneficiary of a rolling cycle of enhancements from previous ships.”

According to the commander, the ship’s undocking achievement is a result of expertise of defence industries and Commonwealth.

MacDonald added: “Undocking also marks a transition of responsibility for the ship back to Navy, with the ship’s company pleased to resume ownership of the Purple Pony.”

With the completion of deep-cycle maintenance on the ship’s systems, the supporting industry and the crew are now focused on returning the ship to its operational state.

HMAS Toowoomba will undergo a series of trials, before returning to the operational state by the end of 2022.

The trials will be performed both on the land and at the sea.

The RAN’s Anzac-class ship HMAS Arunta was the first to complete its maintenance period under AMCAP and returned to the fleet in 2019.