Australia’s Small CEAFAR Phased-Array Radars Move to Next Stage
In 2005 Australia and the US agreed to develop the CEAFAR (3D) active phased array radar as part of Australia’s bid to make its new Anzac-Class frigates survivable against supersonic cruise missiles, give them a potential role in long range air warfare, and even play a potential role in ballistic missile defence. As the (ex-) Minister of Defence Senator Hill noted at the time, these radars were small enough to have other applications, including airborne platforms and even the USA’s new Littoral Combat Ships.
That effort has just taken the next step.
Australian firm CEA Technologies in Fyshwick, Canberra has now received a contract from Australia’s Defence Material Organisation (DMO) for Stage 2 of the AUSPAR phased array program, in order to continue development of their CEAFAR radars and CEAMOUNT hand-off/ uplink for the ANZAC Frigate Anti Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade program. The contract covers further design and risk reduction work, and will lead to a production contract expected to be awarded later in 2006.
The Australian DoD gives the contract’s value as $A 12 million, while CEA Technologies describes it as being worth up to A$ 21 million.
The official Department of Defence announcement also noted that ANZAC (frigate) Alliance Team Members Tenix Defence and Saab Systems will collaborate with the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and CEA.
CEAFAR and SEA 4000
The upgraded Anzac Class frigates will cooperate with Australia’s forthcoming SEA 4000 project Air Warfare Destroyers, with their advanced AEGIS radars and combat systems. As such, integration that allows them to cooperate with the new destroyers’ combat systems will be an essential facet of the upgrade, and of CEAFAR and CEAMOUNT’s capabilities as well.
To that end, it’s worthy of note that Lockheed Martin Australia and Computer Sciences Corporation’s Australian operation have agreed to implement the advanced Aegis Open Architecture (AOA) solution for SEA 4000.
AOA is hosted on an Open Architecture Computing Environment (OACE) computing infrastructure. This means the environment is based on a set of international commercial standards designed to minimize or eliminate the use of custom software, speed the development of new applications, and significantly reduce the cost of technology upgrades. The Royal Australian Navy will now be able to exploit commercial computing technology, as well as install software and other technology upgrades faster and more affordably throughout the life of the AWD.
Note, too, that AOA is built upon the same architectural framework and standards that Lockheed Martin is employing for the DD (X) destroyer‘s command and control and the Littoral Combat Ship’s COMBATTS-21 combat management system.
The U.S. Navy’s effort is led by Lockheed Martin, with significant involvement of CSC and the U.S. Navy’s Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, Virginia, Division. Lockheed and CSC Australia will use the US Navy program model, in which several small business partners who provide a variety of engineering services and expertise to the program, as a foundation for the addition of other Australian companies to support the AWD AOA effort.
See also: Australian DoD | CEA release re: agreement [PDF] | CEA release re: Saab alliance [PDF]