The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) sixth Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) has completed an anti-ship missile defence upgrade in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia.
The upgrade programme has been managed by Anzac Systems Program Office in collaboration with industry partners, including BAE Systems, NSM, Saab, and multiple sub-contractors.
The upgrades included an overhauled combat system and incorporation of the Australian-designed CEA phased array radar suite as well as a holistic package of engineering changes and maintenance tasks.
Following the upgrade, HMS Ballarat will serve as launch pad for the MRH-90 helicopter.
The ship’s exterior structure has been fitted with the aft radar mast ‘cupola’ to house the phased array radar, and features the RAN’s new ‘haze grey’ paint scheme on its upper deck structures.
Anzac Systems Program Office sustainment director commander Cassandra Ryan said: "It is exciting to see each ship depart the programme and return to service in the navy equipped with such impressive capability.
"During the installation of the upgraded combat system, almost 30km of cable is installed, and the project has recently surpassed two million hours on task.
"The project represents a significant upgrade to the capability, and is one of the major projects currently under delivery within the Royal Australian Navy fleet."
The vessel is the fifth Anzac frigate to commence the Mariner Skills Evaluation and Sea Trials, which will assess and validate the upgrades, following a verification of the propulsion plant safety and operability.
In September 2015, the vessel underwent on-dock production activities associated with the ASMD upgrade.
Currently, an upgrade on HMA ships Parramatta and Toowoomba is underway at the BAE yard at Henderson, Western Australia.
HMAS Stuart will be the last ship to undergo the upgrade programme, which will commence in May this year.
Image: HMAS Ballarat conducts an inclining experiment. Photo: courtesy of Royal Australian Navy.