Nov. 7 (UPI) -- HMAS Arunta has completed the installation of its new mast as part of the ship's Mid Life Capability Assurance Program at BAE Systems Australia's Henderson site, the company announced on Wednesday.
The mast was manufactured by BAE under the Warship Asset Management Agreement between SAAB Australia, Naval Ship Management and the Commonwealth of Australia.
The program is part a of a wider modernization effort aimed at Australia's Anzac-class frigates in their surface combatant fleet.
The mast is some of the last major work on the ship before it leaves dock by the end of the year. Upon launch, the Arunta will undertake sea trials and is expected to return to active service in 2019.
The new mast is taller and wider than its predecessor to accommodate the CEA L-Band radar, alongside the existing Anti-Ship Missile Defence radar. The L-Band radar capability will be integrated with the Combat Management Systems of the ship by SAAB Australia.
HMAS Arunta has been undergoing refitting and upgrades since 2017, including engines, communications, sensors and other systems like ventilation and sanitation. The Control and Monitoring System of the ship, which still used analog technology, has been replaced with a digital version. Leonardo has overseen the integration of the new communications systems into the ship.
The HMAS Arunta is a 3,600-ton Anzac-class frigate -- the Anzac class is operated by both the Australian and New Zealand navies. They were built as a replacement for 60's era River-class destroyer escorts and are based on the German-designed MEKO 200 frigate.
The ANZAC-class carries surface-to-air missiles in an 8-cell Mk-41 vertical launch system, a 5-inch radar guided gun and torpedoes. It can be fitted with additional VLS cells and Harpoon anti-ship missiles depending on the mission and carries one helicopter, such as the MH-60R Sea Hawk, a naval derivative of the UH-60 Black Hawk medium-lift helicopter.