Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR October 2015 Contents 52 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter OCT 2015
Lockheed Martin is contracted to provide the combat
management system, and integrate various sensors
such as the radar, infra-red search and track, tactical
data link, local area air defence missile system ship fit
components, radar electronic countermeasures, naval
laser warning system and trainable off board decoys.
It was also provide a combat system trainer at the
Devonport Naval Base, Auckland. The Sea Ceptor
which is being purchased directly by the Ministry of
Key components include:
Thales SMART-S Mk2 E/F Band 3D surveillance
radar and Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye radar.
Saab naval laser warning.
SAGEM Vampir NG infrared search and track.
Telephonics IFF suite AN/APX-505 (V) interrogators
and AN/APX-199 transponder.
Elissa NS9003A-V2NZ-ESM, an IBM data link
procession system via Link 11 and Link 16 with
optional expansion to Link 22.
Rheinmetall MASS Dueras (multi-ammunition soft
kill system) incorporating chaff rockets alongside
standard omni-trap ammunition.
Airborne Systems Europe FDS3 corner reflector
Ultra Electronics Sea Sentor Surface Ship Torpedo
Thales Australia will provide the Broadband Sonar
Advanced Processing System (BSAPS) for the
Spherion B hull mounted sonar and the TUUM-6
multi-channel Digital Underwater Communication
Northrop Grumman inertial navigation system.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Australia has been
doing preliminary design work. This includes the mast
and upper deck design, compartment layout and
physical integration of the new and legacy systems. It is
also expected to complete detailed design prior to the
first ship going into upgrade.
The frigate system project follows a $57 million
platform system upgrade project on both Te Mana and
The first stage started in 2008 with an upgrade of the
ship’s Phalanx close-in weapon system Gatling gun to
Block 1B status.
Phase one, completed in 2011, included the
replacement of the ship’s propulsion diesel engines,
improvements to ship’s stability, relocation of some
ship compartments and the enclosure of part of the
quarterdeck to create more space.
The MTU Detroit Diesel engines are more efficient
and powerful and give the ships two to three knots
of extra speed – cruising speed has been lifted from
16-18 knots. Collier says this significantly reduces the
need to run the frigates’ fuel-hungry gas turbines which
are required for high speed running.
Phase two included the installation of heating,
ventilation and air conditioning systems, and an
integrated management system to allow for more
automation with systems monitored and controlled
from the bridge. Damage control systems were also
Rather than relying on a seawater cooling system
which did not operate effectively in hot conditions
the frigates were fitted with a chilled water HVAC
system. The old system affected the performance and
availability of a number of key systems when operating
in the tropics on deployments to the Middle East. It was
also uncomfortable for crew.
Major contracts in the project went to MTU Detroit
Diesel Australia, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems
Australia, Australia Marine Technologies, Noske-Kaeser
New Zealand, Siemens NZ and L3 Mapps.
THE SEA CEPTOR MISSILE
The British-designed MBDA Sea Ceptor is designed
to be a versatile CAMM (Common Anti-Air Modular
Missile) all-weather air defence system to replace a
number of older systems and be suitable for use by
navy and army units.
Its active radar means it does not need dedicated
tracker/illuminator radars required for semi-active
It uses a soft vertical launch technique which ejects
the missile from its canister using a gas charge and
pistons. This shoots the missile up to 30m into the air.
At the same time small tail-mounted thrusters steer it
through a low-speed and low-energy manoeuvre to
orient it in the right direction before the main motor is
fired to begin the controlled flight to its target.
The Sea Ceptor travels at more than Mach 2.5 and
has a maximum range of over 25 kilometres. Its active
radar is supported by mid-course guidance updates
from ship-borne surveillance radar to indicate the target
and predict the interception point. MBDA says this
means multiple missiles can launch on search to deal
with numerous simultaneous threats.
Key breakthroughs in the development of the missile
included a low-cost active radio frequency seeker,
a dual-band two-way datalink, an advanced laser
proximity fuse and the soft vertical launch system. The
launch system is described as having significant safety
advantages as it does not require efflux management,
the shipboard footprint is smaller and there are missile
performance benefits as all rocket energy is used in the
intended direction of travel.
It is being fitted to the Royal Navy’s Type 23 and
Type 26 frigates and its Type 45 air defence destroyers.
The Brazilian Navy has also ordered the Sea Ceptor to
provide local area air defence for its next generation
Tamarande class corvettes.
ADDED CAPABILITY COURTESY OF
RECYCLED AUSTRALIAN SEAPRITES
The Royal New Zealand Navy is a beneficiary of
Australia’s troubled naval helicopter project.
It has now taken delivery of the 10 Kaman SH-2G (I)
Super Seasprite maritime helicopters which had been
returned to Kaman after the Australian contract was
cancelled in 2009.
The helicopters were built for the Australian Navy
under Project SEA 141 and over $1.2 billion was spent
on their purchase and development. Australia required
that they be flown by a two man crew and they would
have a computer flight system that could operate with
no hands on the controls.
However the development was plagued with
glitches and delays. The flight control system made
unpredictable movements when operated in the “no
hands” mode and there were combat system issues.
Other problems included an inability to operate in
poor weather and low-light and they could not meet
Australian airworthiness standards.
After they were returned to the United States and
put up for sale New Zealand snapped at the chance
to buy the 10 aircraft to replace its five older and less
sophisticated SH-2Gs which had been in service since
the late 1990s.
The $242 million deal includes a full-motion simulator,
spares and a limited number of Penguin Mk 2 Mod 7
anti-ship missiles, a significant advance on the Maverick
air-to-surface missile on the old Seasprites.
Deputy Secretary of Defence (Acquisition) Des
Ashton said they will be flown by three man crews and
the pilots will be hands on controls at all times. This
overcomes issues with the troubled computer flight
Other technical issues have been resolved by Kaman
who continued to further develop the aircraft after
Australia cancelled the contract.
Ashton said Australia have provided a lot of help with
the programme. Independent advice was also obtained
from Marinvent Corporation of Canada.
The new Seasprites - which are fitted with modern
radar, sensors and communications – will provide a
greater surveillance range as well as more fighting
capability. Before the upgrade the frigates’ only anti-
ship weapons consisted of torpedoes.
The Seasprites will be carried on Te Kaha and Te
Mana, the multi-role HMNZS Canterbury and the two
offshore patrol craft HMNZS Otago and Wellington.
The intention is to operate eight of the aircraft and keep
two for spares.
They will be based at the Royal New Zealand Air
Force base at Whenuapai, Auckland.
17/09/2015 5:21 pm
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