Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Materiel – Joint Media Release – Capability Update – Maritime Projects

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today provided an update on two Navy capability projects. 

Defence gets new Tugs 

Two new East Coast Tugs have arrived in Australia to replace MSA Bandicoot and Wallaro. 

The new tugs will be named Elwing and Waree following a tradition that they are named after tugs that previously served in the Royal Australian Navy.  

The new tugs mark the start of transition from Bandicoot and Wallaroo to a new tug capability that will allow the Navy to provide a greater level of tug service to its own vessels as well as visiting ships. 

The new tug capability achieved an Initial Operational Capability (IOC) to provide support to visits by nuclear-powered warships (NPW) last month. 

The transition process is expected to finish early next year, with the achievement of Final Operational Capability. 

The original Elwing was built at Rockhampton in 1933 and purchased by the Navy in 1943. She operated in Port Moresby before being sold out of service in May 1949. 

The original Waree was commissioned in 1942 and served in Port Moresby and Northern Australian waters. She was paid off in 1946 and was returned to her owners, Waratah Tug & Salvage Co. 

Defence will now commence disposal arrangements for MSA Bandicoot and Wallaroo

Phased Array Radar In Service Support Contract Signing  

Minister Smith and Minister Clare today also announced the signing of a contract with CEA for the In Service Support (ISS) of the Phased Array Radarcurrently being installed on the Royal Australian Navy’s eight ANZAC Class Frigates. 

The Phased Array Radar is the new technology and equipment that underpins the Anti Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) Project.  

This AMSD upgrade will enable the Navy’s eight ANZAC Class ships to identify, track and guide missiles to multiple targets simultaneously instead of the current single target capability. 

The initial three-year ISS Contract provides through life maintenance support for the advanced, fourth generation fully digital active radar developed by CEA. 

It also covers developing, maintaining and enhancing skill sets and capabilities, including training on-board Navy technicians. 

The ISS Contract will initially support HMAS Perth, which has already been successfully upgraded with the Phased Array Radar. 

The upgrade of HMAS Perth as the lead ship for the ASMD program was successfully completed last year. 

Following exhaustive testing, including in the United States, the Chief of Navy agreed to the operational release of the system in July 2011. 

The total project cost is in excess of $650 million for the upgrade of all eight ANZAC Class frigates. 

The Government, late last year, approved the installation of the system on the remaining seven ships of the ANZAC class by 2017. 

Media contacts:

Minister Smith’s Office: Sacha Fenton 0467 784 528

Minister Clare’s Office: Annie Williams 0428 040 522


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