RAN’s sets to upgrade Cape-class OPV with naval communication system

The Cape-class Patrol Boats (CCPB) are currently in production at Austal’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia and are to be delivered from September 2021.

The new RAN CCPBs will include a number of enhancements that include Rohde & Schwarz communications equipment, including the company’s Naval Integrated Communications System (NAVICS) with multi-layer security and secure external line of sight (V/UHF) and beyond line of sight communications (HF).

Managing Director of Rohde & Schwarz Australia, Gareth Evans, said that, “As a communications systems integrator, we have unique perspective and capability along with clear technical superiority of our solutions, particularly NAVICS.

“One of the exciting aspects of this system is its true VoIP switching, it’s not a hybrid TDM solution. This makes it both future-proof and scalable. NAVICS also reduces the integration effort and risk associated with incorporating third party components using its versatile IP gateways.

“Rohde & Schwarz (Australia) established a very competent integration capability for Australian industry in Sydney to complement our existing maintenance and world-class calibration facilities. This opportunity ensures Australian jobs are created and supply chain opportunities continue for Australia’s shipbuilding industry.”

NAVICS RS M3SR Series 4400 V UHF and RS M3SR Series 4100 HF comms with voice terminal touch.

Ben Wardle, General Manager Australian Shipbuilding at Austal said the company was looking forward to working with Rohde & Schwarz (Australia) to deliver an effective integrated communications system for the Cape class patrol boats.

“For the new Cape class patrol boat contract with the Department of Defence, Austalconducted extensive market testing for a new,proven partner that would be able to meet or exceed the technical scope of the project,whilst maintaining Australian Industry engagement.

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“We were very pleased to find Rohde & Schwarz could fulfil this scope and we look forward to working with both the Australian and German based teams to deliver the very best integrated communications system for RAN’s new Capes,” Mr Wardle said.

“This contract represents a clear commitment by Austal and the Australian Government to strengthen the Cape class with Top-of-Class communication solutions by Rohde & Schwarz,” Hansjörg Herrbold, Vice President Market Segment Navy Rohde & Schwarz, says. “NAVICS is being deployed on numerous naval vessels, including the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates and was on display at the recent Pacific 2019 exhibition in Sydney.”

NAVICS uses state-of-the-art VoIP and Ethernet standards. Following market tendencies Rohde & Schwarz has decided to abandon outdated TDM technology, which required heavy proprietary hardware. Instead, NAVICS relays on widely spread industry standards and commercial-of-the-shelf hardware, thus eliminating the risk of expensive obsolete equipment. A multilevel security architecture allows secure, trusted and tamper-proof communications between multiple domains with different security classifications.

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