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Australia declares IOC for home-grown Anzac frigate radar upgrade

Anzac-class air search radar IOC
Anzac-class frigate HMAS Perth at the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson during Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program upgrades. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigates are set to get an air search radar capability upgrade, with the locally-developed air search radar systems reaching initial operating capability.

Under the SEA 1448 Phase 4B project, the existing air search radar system has been replaced with the sovereign designed and manufactured CEAFAR-2L phased array radar system.

This system complements the first generation CEAFAR-1S phased array radar capability installed during the Anzac anti-ship missile defense upgrade.

Originally scheduled for June 2020, IOC means that installation of equipment onto one Anzac ship has been completed, in addition to development of operator and maintainer training, completion of acceptance trials on the first ship completed, and the logistics support arrangements in place.

The new technology was designed by CEA Technologies in Canberra and was installed in conjunction with upgrades to combat systems performed by Saab Systems in South Australia and platform integration design by BAE Systems in Victoria.

In addition to replacing the SPS-49(V)8 air search radar on the 8 Anzac class frigates, SEA1448 Phase 4B will also replace the existing identification friend or foe (IFF) system with a new system. By replacing the existing air search radar and IFF system, the project is delivering an integrated and supportable modern long range air search capability into the Anzac-class frigates.

Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO RAN, said the technology was delivering world-class capability to navy through a strategic collaboration with defense industry partners.

“This technology has delivered a significantly advanced air warfare and missile self-defence capability to Navy’s Anzac-class frigates and provides Navy with one of the most advanced, sovereign air search radar capabilities in the world,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

“The close partnership between government and Australian industry is crucial to this Australian success story.”

Deputy Director Systems, Commander David Bettell said the new radar system had been integrated with the 9LV Combat Management System and had been successfully demonstrated at sea.

“The Anzac air search radar replacement project has not only replaced the ageing air search radar but delivered ground-breaking integrated digital Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) capability, a world first within a Phased Array Radar System,” Commander Bettell said.

Among the many advantages offered by the SEA 1448 Phase 4B project are the significant improvement of detection, classification and identification of air contacts, a greater level of radar and combat management system integration, improved levels of radar functionality and significant improvements in equipment support and reliability, the Australian defense ministry said.