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RIMPAC exercise tests Australian frigate’s AMCAP upgrade

HMAS Arunta
HMAS Arunta executes a live missile firing off the coast of Hawaii during RIMPAC 2020. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Arunta got the chance to test her new capabilities at the international RIMPAC exercise off Hawaii after becoming the first in her class to complete the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade.

The frigate has successfully fired surface-to-air missiles alongside ships from Canada and the United States. Commanding officer HMAS Arunta Commander Troy Duggan said the firing demonstrated the lethality of the upgraded Anzac Class frigate and its world-class Australian systems.

“This is the first time an AMCAP frigate has participated in RIMPAC, and demonstrates the capability of the new phased array radar suite as an integrated sensor for the combat system,” Commander Duggan said.

Completed in 2019, the upgrade provides the Anzac-class frigates the first CEAFAR2-L long-range phased-array air search radar.

Missile firings are conducted on the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

The range used remote-controlled drones to simulate missile attack profiles against Arunta, and the ship engaged them with surface-to-air missiles.

Commander Duggan said the ship’s company had trained extensively for the event.

“These sorts of complex warfighting exercises with multinational partners demonstrate that the Royal Australian Navy is able to operate seamlessly with other highly advanced navies in our region,” he said.

Other Australian ship taking part in exercise RIMPAC include HMA Ships Hobart, Stuart, Arunta and Sirius.

Ten nations, 22 surface ships, one submarine, multiple aircraft, and about 5300 personnel are participating in this iteration of the biggest international naval exercise.

It includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States.