Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) fleet of nine future frigates will be equipped with Aegis Combat System, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced today.
The proposed frigates will have Lockheed Martin Aegis Combat System together with a tactical interface, which will be developed by SAAB Australia. The frigates will be also equipped with CEAFAR Active Phased Array Radar developed by Australian company, CEA Technologies.
According to Department of Defence statement, this decision will maximise the Future Frigate’s air warfare capabilities, enabling these ships to engage threat missiles at long range, which is vital given rogue states are developing missiles with advanced range and speed.
The Australian Government also plans to use Saab 9LV naval combat system on all future naval vessels where the high-end warfighting capabilities of the Aegis system are not required such as the future Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), which will be built in Australia from 2018.
The RAN’s Hobart-class air warfare destroyers (AWD) are already equipped with Aegis as the core of their combat systems. First ship of the class, HMAS Hobart (DDG 39), is commissioned into the fleet recently.
The second ship of the class, HMAS Brisbane (DDG 41), is being fitted out at the ASC shipyard in Osborne, South Australia while the third, HMAS Sydney (DDG 42), is under construction.
Aegis Combat System:
Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin.
The Aegis Combat System (ACS) is an advanced command and control and weapon control system (WCS) that uses powerful computers and radars to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets.
The Aegis Combat System is controlled by AN/SPY-1, an advanced, automatic detect-and-track, multi-function three-dimensional passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar.
The radar is able to perform search, tracking, and missile guidance functions simultaneously with a track capacity of well over 100 targets at more than 100 nautical miles (190 km).
The ACS is composed of the Aegis Weapon System (AWS), the fast-reaction component of the Aegis Anti-Aircraft Warfare (AAW) capability, along with the Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS), and the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS).
AWS, the heart of Aegis, comprises the AN/SPY-1 Radar, MK 99 Fire Control System, WCS, the Command and Decision Suite, and SM-2 Standard Missile family of weapons; these include the basic RIM-66 Standard, the RIM-67 extended range missile, and the newer RIM-161 designed to counter ballistic missile threats.
Initially used by the United States Navy (USN), Aegis is now used also by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), Spanish Navy (AE), Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN), and Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN).
Over 100 Aegis-equipped ships have been deployed in five navies worldwide.