Providing technical expertise on the ANZAC frigate systems upgrade (FSU).

"Our scientists have been working on making ANZAC FSU a success."

  • We worked closely with military staff to define and wargame operational scenarios.
  • We established the performance requirements of the ANZAC FSU and helped select an appropriate solution.
  • A maritime countermeasures cell has been instated at the DTA facilities.

We have been instrumental in supporting the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) with the implementation of the ANZAC frigate systems upgrade (FSU) since 2007.

Our Involvement from the Start

In the beginning, Operations Analysts from the Defence Technology Agency (DTA) worked closely with military staff to define and wargame operational scenarios. We developed the analytic plan and executed it with the warfare officers and civilian representatives. The goal of this work was to determine and document the warfare performance required of the ANZAC frigate system. A significant part of this ground-breaking work was written by DTA scientists and it laid a solid foundation for the ANZAC FSU’s requirements and subsequent trade-off discussions.

Once we established the performance requirements for the ANZAC FSU we then set out to compare the existing frigate system with them. Our work clearly showed gaps in capability that needed to be rectified if the government was to have a credible maritime combat capability.

A multi-disciplinary team of DTA scientists then set out to consider what was possible in terms of different subsystem and overall system option types. We worked closely with the project team, military, industry and our defence science & technology partners to inform this work. The outcome was a strong understanding of the types of options available and the trade-offs that would need to be considered.

We provided evidence that supported options trade-off studies which led to developing several options with different associated budget profiles. These were presented to decision makers for consideration. From this the size and scope of the ANZAC FSU was decided, requirements were fine-tuned and industry was approached for tenders.

Our DTA scientists helped the tenders board by providing timely technical advice. We travelled with the FSU team on risk reduction visits to Canada, the UK, and the US in order to make sure the preferred solutions were robust and well understood by us. From this collective work a set of commercial contracts were developed in 2013.

Ongoing Work

Since 2013 a wide range of our scientists have been involved in making ANZAC FSU a success. Our work includes:

  • aiding the design of the FSU operations rooms through physical walk-through modelling
  • developing an evidence-based understanding of the mission support needs of the ANZAC FSU system
  • performing modelling and data analysis to determine the expected performance of the ANZAC FSU system
  • developing initial tactics data to drive the automation within the combat system
  • refining RNZN’s technical understanding of new classes of subsystem
  • supporting planning for operational testing and evaluation of the ANZAC frigates when they return from their installation phase.

DTA’s central role in maritime combat in New Zealand has been recognised by recently having a maritime countermeasures cell instated at the DTA. This cell or centre will periodically advise the RNZN on the optimal tactics to combat threats to the ANZAC FSU frigates in particular. We are also active in supporting the definition phase of the Future Surface Combatant project.

Read more about the ANZAC FSU project on the Ministry of Defence’s website.