NZ Looks to Upgrade ANZAC Frigates

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HMNZS Te Kaha Beginning in 1989, New Zealand and Australia introduced the ANZAC Class frigates, based on Blohm + Voss’ Meko 200 modular design. A total of 10 were built, 8 for Australia and another 2 for New Zealand; HMNZS Te Kaha [F77] was commissioned in 1997, and HMNZS Te Mana [F111] in 1999. The ships were originally fitted with RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles, torpedoes, and 5 inch guns, which will not suffice against modern threats. An Australian program called “ANZAC Class Anti-Ship Missile Defences” aims to extend their useful operational lives by upgrading their ships’ combat systems and radar, switching to the more advanced RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile, adding Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other upgrades. New Zealand appears to be headed toward a similar program, in the wake of conclusions that the ships’ existing systems will not remain effective much past 2010. As an initial step, New Zealand’s TV3 reports that their navy is spending NZ$ 25 million to upgrade their Mk15 Phalanx 20mm gatling guns to deal with fast boats and helicopters, as well as incoming missiles. These Phalanx block 1B upgrades can be performed quickly, and do not require major modifications or down time. A NZ$60 […]

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