HMAS Toowoomba begins upgrade

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A fifth Anzac Class warship has entered BAE Systems Australia’s Henderson facility as part of the fleet upgrade that will keep the ships in service until they are replaced by the Hunter Class frigates, Defence Connect reports.

HMAS Toowoomba joins sister ships, Warramunga and Perth, which are both currently in various stages of the AMCAP upgrade process, HMAS Toowoomba will be the fifth of eight Anzac Class vessels to receive the AMCAP upgrade.

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

The upgrade includes:

  • Upgraded ventilation systems;
  • New sewerage 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.

BAE Systems Australia director maritime sustainment Ian McMillan said, “This project demonstrates the strong collaboration across the alliance. We are committed to the successful delivery of AMCAP and look forward to demonstrating through the HMAS Toowoomba upgrade the outstanding capability of the Henderson team and its ability to support the Royal Australian Navy to fight and win at sea.”

Toowoomba is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. Toowoomba’s combat capabilities have been significantly improved under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program, a world-class program that provides an enhanced sensor and weapons systems capability.

The upgrade showcases Australian design and integration capability, with new phased array radar technology designed by CEA Technologies in Canberra, upgrades to combat systems performed by Saab Systems in South Australia, and platform integration design by BAE Systems in Victoria.

“As an Australian industry leader in maritime sustainment, BAE Systems Australia is looking forward to upgrading HMAS Toowoomba with the advanced capability that the AMCAP program will deliver,” McMillan added.

Toowoomba is fitted with an advanced package of air and surface surveillance radars, omni-directional hull-mounted sonar and electronic support systems that interface with the 9LV453 Mk3E combat data system. The ship can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.

The ship can embark Navy’s latest multi-role Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk helicopter, which has enhanced anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare, and search and rescue capabilities. Embarkation of a helicopter also provides the ship with the capability to deliver air-launched missiles and torpedoes.

HMAS Toowoomba is the second RAN ship to bear the name of Queensland’s inland city. HMAS Toowoomba (I) was one of 60 Bathurst Class minesweeping corvettes built in Australia during the Second World War as part of the Commonwealth government’s wartime shipbuilding program.

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