Royal New Zealand Navy Anzac Class frigate HMNZS Te Mana
Royal New Zealand Navy Anzac Class frigate HMNZS Te Mana

SEA Awarded Communications Upgrade Contract for Royal New Zealand Navy ANZAC Frigates

SEA, the UK’s defence and security electronic system specialist, has been awarded a contract by New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the first phase of upgrading the communications systems on two Royal New Zealand Navy ANZAC frigates. SEA will update the systems with its open architecture external communication capability under the Frigate Sustainment – Communications Project. The contract, which covers the design of the communication system upgrade, is valued at £4.6 million and is scheduled to commence in September 2021. This contract is for the first of two planned project phases which will deliver new capability from 2024.

Richard Flitton, Managing Director at SEA, said: “We’re delighted to be utilising our experience in delivering and upgrading external communication systems for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s FS – Communications Project. Our involvement will expand our presence in the region and display SEA’s ability to meet the requirements of navies worldwide, while also adding value in supporting in-country training, skills and expertise. Through collaboration with our New Zealand partners, our flexible and modular external communication system will enable the Royal New Zealand Navy to maintain its technological innovation, reduce through life costs and improve communication with other navies.”

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Royal New Zealand Navy Anzac Class frigate HMNZS Te-Kaha
Royal New Zealand Navy Anzac Class frigate HMNZS Te-Kaha

SEA’s system is intended to reduce through life costs and associated maintenance. The flexible, modular system will enable the Navy to integrate equipment, including cryptos and radios, regardless of the manufacturer or supplier. The open architecture of the system will also meet interoperability requirements and allow the Royal New Zealand Navy to communicate with partner navies, which will support missions with friendly countries such as neighbouring Australia.

As part of the contract, SEA will work in partnership with NZ-based subcontractors to develop the new system and deliver on-the-ground training, which will include conducting a gap analysis of current knowledge and skills, followed by training tailored to the needs of the Royal New Zealand Navy. This is designed to enable an effective knowledge transfer and ensure personnel can operate SEA’s intuitive and user-friendly communications system. This contract follows the successful delivery of the Ship Condition Assessment, which SEA completed during COVID-19 restrictions, in collaboration with one of its in-country partners, electrical services experts McKay, in June.

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