Australia hopes to start installing the first CEAFAR active phased array radar on Anzac frigates in 2010 following a successful at-sea test of a prototype system.
An early version of the CEA Technologies radar was installed on the HMAS Perth, which conducted the assessment off the coast of western Australia. “The radar performed beyond expectations and the success of the sea trial is a very encouraging outcome in the development of this high-technology, high capability radar system,” according to Greg Combet, the Australian government’s Parliamentary Secretary for Defense Procurement.
The radar system is supposed to boost the ability of this class of ships to protect themselves against increasingly sophisticated anti-ship missiles. The Anzac ships also are to provide a protective shield for other vessels when operating in a task force.
The trial is seen as important in righting a program which has been suffering schedule delays. Combet notes that “this project has experienced delays so it is pleasing to see this milestone achieved. However, much work remains to be done and the Government will continue to closely monitor the progress of this project.”
Australia undertook this early assessment as part of a risk reduction strategy for the upgrade of the Anzac ships. The at-sea assessment builds on a land-based trial last month at the CEA’s Canberra site.
The first Anzac frigate to get the new radar system is also the HMAS Perth, with the installation set to begin in January 2010 and at-sea trials slated for July 2011.