Defence multinational BAE Systems welcomed a record number of warships to its Henderson facility of this week, with the third ANZAC class ship set to undergo essential upgrades.

HMAS Anzac joined sister ships Perth and Arunta – making it the first time the three warships have been on the hardstand at the Henderson facility.

The warships are undergoing a fleet upgrade to keep the ships in service until they are replaced by the Hunter class frigates.

The Hunter class – which will be built by ASC Shipbuilding in South Australia – will start entering service in late 2020s, replacing the eight Anzac class frigates which entered service in 1996.

The Mid Life Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade is being undertaken at Henderson by the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) Alliance.

HMAS Anzac will be the second ship to receive the AMCAP upgrade which will include: upgraded ventilation systems; new sewage systems; improvements to the diesel engines to improve power and efficiency; replacement of the air search radar capability with the Australian CEA L-Band radar; and replacement of the full communications suite on the ship.

HMAS Arunta most recently had her old mast removed to make way for the installation of a newly developed Air Search Radar System. The new mast is being manufactured by BAE Systems and scheduled to be installed at the end of October.

HMAS Arunta will undock before the end of the year after more than 12 months on the hard stand. She will then undertake sea trials ahead of a planned return to service in 2019.

The remaining seven ships will be back in service by 2023.

“The upgrade of the ANZAC fleet, through our role in the WAMA alliance, demonstrates the breadth and depth of work that BAE Systems Australia has done to date in the sustainment of the ANZAC class fleet over more than two decades,” BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Gabby Costigan said.

“BAE Systems is an Australian industry leader in maritime sustainment. We are very proud of the skilled workforce capacity that we have grown to meet the technical challenges of maritime sustainment.”

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