Australia Upgrades 'Anzac' Frigates Mk.45 Mod.2 Main Guns
BAE Systems Australia cooperates with SAAB Australia, Naval Ship Management (NSM) and the Commonwealth of Australia as part of the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA).
The upgrade involves the adoption of the CCS (Common Control System) upgrade kit, which replaces the old subsystems, extends the operational life of the guns and upgrades them to the Mod.4 level. The CCS upgrade applies to the Mod.1 and Mod.2 version guns. After their upgrade, the main guns of the "Anzac" class frigates will be able to launch guided munitions, thus increasing the accuracy of their shots against both naval and land targets.
The Mod.1 version is an upgrade of the Mod.0 version, while the Mod.2 version is the export version of the Mk.45 Mod.1. The Mod.3 version had a new control system but was never put into production. The newer and more capable Mod.4 version incorporates a longer barrel (62 gauge instead of 54 gauge) for a longer range against naval and land targets. Also, the gun turret has been redesigned to reduce the radar footprint.
Australia is upgrading the eight MEKO-200 "Anzac" class frigates with the AMCAP (Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program). Seven ships have already been upgraded, while the eighth and last ship is expected to be upgraded in 2024.
The first upgrade, the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) Upgrade Programme, ran from 2010 to 2017 and included the installation of a new phased array radar on the platform, as well as extensive engineering upgrades and maintenance for the whole Anzac Class frigate fleet.
The second upgrade, the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Programme (AMCAP), is an ongoing update that focuses on replacing the ageing platform systems, communications, Long Range Air Search Radar installation, and routine maintenance, with a completion date of 2023.
The AMCAP program costs $1.4 billion, i.e. $175 million per ship (the relevant contract was signed in April 2016). It involves the replacement of the SPS-49(V)8 radar with the newer and more capable CEAFAR2-L active phased array radar, the replacement of the IFF system, the replacement of the Electronic Support System, the upgrade of the anti-torpedo system and the installation of active countermeasures system for anti-ship missiles. Other modifications concern installing new communications systems and improvements in command and control.