Rohde & Schwarz Australia has been awarded a prize contract in support of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Hunter class frigate program.

Signed with BAE Systems Australia’s maritime division, the contract will see Rohde & Schwarz design and manufacture an integrated communications system (ICS) for RAN Hunter frigates.

The company will also provide services for program management in the country, integration, systems engineering, installation and verification for the purchase and implementation of ICS in the service.

The contract also includes additional employment opportunities for a certain period.

Rohde & Schwarz Australia Managing Director Gareth Evans said: “At Hunter, Rohde & Schwarz Australia will strive to maximize the ability of the competing Australian industry to support the production, integration, testing and commissioning of the communications system.

“We also provided STS Defense in the UK with a technology transfer and a license to manufacture configurable communication masts or mast masts for the Hunter class.”

In 2018, BAE Systems received a contract from the Australian Government to design, build and supply nine Hunter-class frigates for RAN.

BAE Systems has already started construction work on the frigates and completed the system review (SDR) in February.

The Hunter-class frigates will be based on the design of RAN’s Type 26 or City ships under construction in Glasgow.

Rohde & Schwarz’s Naval ICS (NAVICS) is an IP-based solution designed to ensure secure voice and data communications.

NAVICS is installed in Type 26 frigates of the United Kingdom Navy and advanced cape class patrol boats (ECCPB) of the RAN.

Kieran McLaughlin, Rohde & Schwarz’s head of maritime domain in Australia, said: “NAVICS will revolutionize on-board communications for RAN by implementing state-of-the-art IP-based Multilevel Security Architecture (MLS) for naval vessels.

“Rohde & Schwarz Australia’s role as CSI in the ECCPB is at the heart of knowledge transfer through our Australian capabilities.”

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