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Australian frigate docks for internet connectivity upgrade for crew

HMAS Parramatta
HMAS Parramatta during a refit in the Captain Cook Graving Dock at Garden Island, Sydney, NSW. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Parramatta has entered the Captain Cook graving dock to receive improved crew internet connectivity among other upgrades.

This will be the ship’s first significant maintenance period since mid-2018, following a year of deployments and achievements.

The Anzac-class frigate will undergo a maintenance package focused on the ship’s systems and propulsion plant, as well as the installation of a ‘quality of life’ system that will improve communications while at sea.

Cosmetically, the ship will also receive a re-painted hull and super-structure.

Parramatta’s commanding officer, Commander Anita Nemarich, said the major docking would be followed by a full work-up process in early 2021 to return to operational capability.

“DSRA10 is an important maintenance period for Parramatta as it will ensure she remains seaworthy for her next two significant deployments prior to undergoing the FFH Air Mobility Capability Assurance Package upgrade in 2022.”

“DSRA10 will see the installation of the new quality of life system, which will provide much-improved internet connectivity when at sea. This will allow the crew to connect with their families more easily when deployed,” she said.

Parramatta recently returned to her home port in Sydney following 12 months of deployments that earned her the coveted Duke of Gloucester’s Cup for 2019 for demonstrating a high level of proficiency in all activities.

The Duke of Gloucester’s Cup has been part of Royal Australian Navy tradition since 1946 and recognises the unit, squadron, clearance diving team or establishment that has displayed the highest overall level of skill in areas such as seamanship, training, administration, morale, maintenance and resourcefulness.

Earlier this year Parramatta undertook a three-month Asia deployment, sailing more than 24,000 nautical miles and working with partner navies in the region to strengthen interoperability.

The 118-meter long frigate also deployed from January to May 2019 and again from September to December 2019 as part of a multi-ship task group.