Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR March 2010 Contents 3. NAVY PROJECTS
Since about 1960 the RAN has deployed an EW capability on all of its capital
ships and its submarines. These platforms include the Type12 DEs, the
DDGs, the FFGs, the Anzac class frigates and patrol boats. The Type 12 DEs
were, built in Australia, and equipped with a British EW capability as were
the Anzacs. The DDGs and FFGs were US designed and built ships and their
EW capability was also of US origin. The Armidale patrol boats, also built
in Australia, are equipped with an Australian-designed and manufactured
EW capability. In the submarine world, Oberon submarines built in the
UK included a British EW capability. The Collins class submarines, built in
Of the above surface ship platforms only three are still in service, being
the FFGs, Anzacs and Armidales and they are all due for replacement before
the 2030. The Collins still has a way to go.
In all cases the EW capability has been passive as the RAN has steadfastly
to show a change in that mindset that may flow across the fleet.
INSTALLED EW SYSTEMS (EWS) IN RAN SHIPS
(V ) 2 that replaced it in the US Fleet was not adopted for the RAN DDGs.
DDG-51s and other USN capital ships, despite its age, in the ( V) 3 or (V )
removed, apparently based on its mass, particularly the large, but very
capable, antenna using the Rottman lens design, one each located on the
port and starboard sides of the ship. There may have been other reasons
for its removal including perceived performance and vintage technology
for it is understood that the RAN did not buy any of the many upgrades
available for the system.
ADI Ltd (now Thales Australia) the prime contractor for the UP contracted
added to the total mass of the ship. However it seems that as far as ADI was
concerned the company did not get what was advertised by the supplier.
In particular the antenna, located almost at the masthead, was heavier
than quoted and this required re-balancing the ship. As well the system’s
the RAN’s concerns about the equipment were ultimately resolved. Sea
FFG. There is little doubt that this system will be operated until the FFGs
are paid off, probably at, the latest, 2020.
or both. The system was subsequently upgraded and it is understood that
the system now installed is the Thales Centaur. Under the ASMD program
opportunities to replace the Centaur may arise to maintain its regional
parity for long-range warning and force level warfare. It is considered
possible that a less complex version of the EW suite selected for the AWD
may flow down to the Anzac.
the BAE Systems Australia PRISM. This system was originally developed
by DSTO and the then Thorn EMI Electronics (Aust) , followed by BAE
the Armidales replaced, PRISM was an elementary system that was
system has been progressively developed to increase its capability. The
Prism 111 version is reportedly installed on the Armidales and the Huon
Collins Submarine. So much has been written about the Collins design,
construction, performance, availability and maintenance issues that
the subject has become tedious. But lessons have been learned and it is
earnestly hoped that the New Submarine program will draw on them,
with the EDO ES 5600 ES and the Argo Systems AR-740 ESM. EDO is now
owned by ITT and has a very serious interest in the AWD.
FUTURE EW PROGRAMS
ENTER THE AWD
There are several critically important factors that underpin the success
of the AWD; they include the adoption of the Aegis system with the SPY-
1D radar as a component of that system (and with future new radars now
emerging to replace it), the adoption of a mature ship design, the Spanish
Armada’s F-100, the establishment of an Alliance contracting method,
demonstrated to be a sound practice with the much smaller Anzac ASMD
project arrangement, the clear assignment of responsibilities for the
members of the Alliance and the co-location of the Alliance in Adelaide,
where the AWDs will be built. At a lower, but very important level is the
further development of the ASC’s South Australian facilities where the
AWD will be assembled, launched and commissioned. The Alliance is also
probably grateful that previous Government’s long-standing plans to sell
off the ASC have been shelved for the time being.
From technology and management viewpoints the AWD project for the
three ships is on a par with the Collins Class submarine, but importantly
the AWD is based on the use of a mature platform design, that is in service.
practices used by the Spanish Armada compared with those of the RAN
that follow closely, but not slavishly, those of the USN. These changes have
kept Raytheon Australia, the Combat System System Engineer (CSSE) busy
for the past three-four years.
The AWD’s combat system command management functions are
contained in two discrete, but functionally interconnected, “black boxes”,
one for the Aegis system, complete with its own control and display
consoles, and the other called the Australian Tactical Interface (ATI) for
the balance of the ship’s command management functions. This approach
ensures that the AEGIS system is isolated from all other ship’s command
functions except through an agreed interface. The ATI contains Multi-
Function Displays that are connected on a common bus enabling each
RAN cryptographers on board a
Collins Class submarine. Credit: ADF
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