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Australia Taps BAE Systems to Upgrade Anzac Frigate Firepower

The Australian government has awarded BAE Systems a contract to upgrade the firepower of its Anzac-class frigates.

As part of the deal, the company will integrate a Common Control System (CCS) into the vessel’s Mk-45 naval guns, similar to the configuration being used by the US Navy.

This way, the Australian frigates will have commonality and increased interoperability with its ally.

Additionally, the upgrade would eliminate obsolescence issues, ensuring that the gun system will continue to be in service for “decades to come.”

“The [CCS] upgrade is the most cost-effective way to extend the life of Mk-45 gun systems, enabling them to provide critical ship naval fires and creating a configuration that allows for the integration of future precision guided munitions,” BAE Systems VP Brent Butcher said.

Integrating ‘Most Innovative’ Tech

BAE Systems’ Mk-45 is a fully-automatic naval gun system designed to engage surface and air targets.

The gun installed on the Anzac frigates is reportedly the lightest and most compact Mk-45 configuration, providing effective naval fire support for expeditionary operations.

It features a 20-round automatic loader drum and a maximum firing rate of 16 to 20 rounds per minute.

According to BAE, the upgrade will ensure that the weapon has the “latest, most innovative technology features” to support advanced munitions at significantly lower costs.

“We are committed to modernizing and equipping allied nations with enhanced Mk-45 gun systems to address current and future threats,” Butcher stated.

Work for the contract will take place in Kentucky, with the initial delivery expected by 2026.

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