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25 Feb 16. Australian Navy’s HMAS Ballarat completes Anti-Ship Missile Defence Upgrade. The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) sixth Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) has completed an anti-ship missile defence upgrade in Cockburn Sound, Western Australia.
The upgrade programme has been managed by Anzac Systems Program Office in collaboration with industry partners, including BAE Systems, NSM, Saab, and multiple sub-contractors.
The upgrades included an overhauled combat system and incorporation of the Australian-designed CEA phased array radar suite as well as a holistic package of engineering changes and maintenance tasks.
Following the upgrade, HMS Ballarat will serve as launch pad for the MRH-90 helicopter.
The ship’s exterior structure has been fitted with the aft radar mast ‘cupola’ to house the phased array radar, and features the RAN’s new ‘haze grey’ paint scheme on its upper deck structures.
Anzac Systems Program Office sustainment director commander Cassandra Ryan said: “It is exciting to see each ship depart the programme and return to service in the navy equipped with such impressive capability.
“During the installation of the upgraded combat system, almost 30km of cable is installed, and the project has recently surpassed two million hours on task.
“The project represents a significant upgrade to the capability, and is one of the major projects currently under delivery within the Royal Australian Navy fleet.”
The vessel is the fifth Anzac frigate to commence the Mariner Skills Evaluation and Sea Trials, which will assess and validate the upgrades, following a verification of the propulsion plant safety and operability.
In September 2015, the vessel underwent on-dock production activities associated with the ASMD upgrade.
Currently, an upgrade on HMA ships Parramatta and Toowoomba is underway at the BAE yard at Henderson, Western Australia.
HMAS Stuart will be the last ship to undergo the upgrade programme, which will commence in May this year. (Source: naval-technology.com)
24 Feb 16. Rafael unveils High Mobility SPYDER concept. Key Points:
• The all-terrain vehicle-mounted system is intended to protect mobile forces in challenging terrain
• Prototype systems have been tested and are under development
Rafael Advanced Defence Systems at the Singapore Air Show unveiled a compact high-mobility quick-reaction air defence concept designed to deliver protection for deployed and manoeuvring forces in challenging terrain.
Based on Rafael’s SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) mobile low- to medium-level ground-based air defence (GBAD) system, the High Mobility SPYDER (HMS) GBAD solution is envisaged as a networked-centred missile-firing unit (MFU) – which includes launcher, four interceptors, a Toplite electro-optical (EO) surveillance payload, a Rafael-developed command & control (C2) system, and a Rafael BNET vehicular communications architecture – integrated onto a single all-terrain tracked carrier platform.
Each MFU can operate as an autonomous fire unit, or as part of an integrated HMS GBAD battery, with its C2 system tasking its own launcher, or acting as battery C2 for the HMS GBAD formation. The HMS GBAD concept allows the user to search and move, engage on the move/fire on halt, and scoot, Yossi Horowitz, marketing director at Rafael Advanced Defence Systems told IHS Jane’s .
“Incorporation of the I-Derby ER missile allows us to increase the range of the SPYDER system to 30 km [from 20 km with Python-5 and I-Derby] and the altitude [not disclosed], and to engage slow-flying targets and hovering helicopters. RF [radio frequency] missiles generally do not like such steady targets because they need to correlate the speeds [of the interceptor and incoming target]. However, the software-defined radar technology [SDR] in the I-Derby se