Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR November 2010 Contents [
limited to – Northrop Grumman (a shareholder in CEA, believed to be 49%
but unconfirmed); Saab; and the German shipbuilder Blohm+Voss.
While the role of CEA has received a considerable amount of coverage,
the combat “heart” of the ANZAC Class is the Saab Combat Management
System. The company explains that the ASMD combat system will
integrate the upgraded 9LV CMS with the phased array CEAFAR radar and
CEAMOUNT missile illuminator, two Vampir NG Infra-Red Search and
Track (IRST ) units installed on the bridge and hangar roofs and two Kelvin
Hughes navigation radars. The Vampir NG units will provide a combined
360 degree coverage and automatic detection of small, hot objects (a
supersonic ASM is a very small, hot object).
The current ANZAC Class 9LV Fire Control Director will be retained to
provide high accuracy gunnery but the Sea Giraffe radar will be removed.
The Tactical Data Link, Link-11 has been a mainstay of the RAN for
decades and now Link-16 is being introduced across the ADF with much
higher bandwidth and a far richer and deeper data set, managed network
access, resistance to jamming and better network control. The ANZAC
Class (and the Canberra Class LHD) will be fitted with a multi-link
capability consisting of Link-11, Link-16 and Variable Message Format
(VMF) (for army interoperability) as well as the Joint Range Extension
Application Protocol (JREAP) for tactical interoperability using satellite
communications. (Link-16 and VMF will be added in Stage 2.)
The CMS hardware is being brought up to date with a technology
insertion involving the replacement of the processors with current
generation Pentium-based processors running Microsoft Windows.
Interface and server nodes will be upgraded and optical fibre LANs added.
The Multi-Function Consoles (MFC) will be completely replaced with a
new, smaller footprint unit using a single 30” LCD screen. The Human
Machine Interface (HMI) is being modernized, as to become more intuitive
and familiar to current operators.
The number of MFCs will be increased to ten and there will be
better lines of sight between operators around the redesigned Operations
Room. Several large screen displays will show data from many different
sources e.g. GCCS-M and stateboard data. The general arrangement of the
MFCs will change to more logically grouped sensor operators, weapons
operators, aircraft controllers, and the Command. A second Fire Control
Office role has been added under ASMD and an Air Intercept Controller
will be included with the Link-16 upgrade in Stage 2.
Saab say that to achieve the necessary level of capability against
emerging threats, the ASMD upgraded ships will use an advanced ESSM
mode that is currently in service on the German F-124 and Dutch LCF
Class. The X-Band Mid Course Guidance mode allows the missile to be
updated during flight with target data to improve probability of kill and
react to target manoeuvres as well as supporting an increased number of
The ASMD upgrade is being implemented in two stages to provide
an initial improvement in capability and then a subsequent further
enhancement. All ship and hardware changes (with controlling software)
will be implemented in the first stage with the second stage being limited
to further software updates only. The first of class will be HMAS PERTH
which is currently in contractor’s hands. She will start sea trials in early
2011 and commence the Navy Operational Test and Evaluation period in
June 2011. Stage 2 is planned to be in service in 2013.
The ASMD solution will have improved sensor performance, better
situational awareness and better weapon effectiveness providing an overall
significant increase in capability.Saab is continuing to support the Mk3
ships in parallel with the ASMD upgrade program through minor releases
in order to maintain their operational effectiveness.
The company points out that there are a number of related projects
underway - including the LHDs being constructed in Spain and
Williamstown which will use the same 9LV CMS as the ASMD upgrade to
ensure fleet-wide commonality. These vessels’ combat system equipment
will be different, in that it will have a medium range 3D-radar (Saab Sea
Giraffe AMB) instead of phased array radar. CMS functionality will be
comparable to ASMD but extended to fulfil the many roles required of an
amphibious ship including multiple helicopter control, watercraft control
and comprehensive joint C4I. The first LHD is expected to be in service in
A lightweight variant of the same 9LV system has been produced to
provide data communications between ships and their RHIBs. It enables
exchange of data and orders even when they are beyond the horizon from
each other. The system has been fitted for a trial on an Armidale and to the
Bridge, Operations Room and RHIBs of a number of ANZACs and FFGs.
Saab state that their R&D program continues to involve the insertion
of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) technology into the CMS to bring
about timely upgrade of system capabilities. An example is addressing
the introduction of COTS middleware to align with the Open Architecture
initiatives of industry and the USN.
The Australian 9LV systems are part of a family of 9LV systems deployed
in navies around the world. This enables capabilities derived from other
customer programs to be accepted and used. For example in ASMD, the
Vampir integration leveraged off work done for a Persian Gulf customer,
while integration of the Saab Sea Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam 3D radar for the
LHD program will reuse work in the Swedish Navy’s Visby Stealth Corvette
program. The LHD program will also utilise the ANZAC ship changes that
support the Multi-Link program providing interoperability through Link
11, Link16 and VMF. APDR
Another view of the distinctive radar mast
34 | Asia Pacific Defence Reporter
Links Archive APDR October 2010 APDR Dec 2010 to Jan 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page