Patrick Durrant | Sydney
The Cuttlefish counter surveillance technology which BAE Systems has been developing for some time has at last secured $4.9 million of Government funding.
The technology, which is designed to counter radio frequency emitters, will enable the Royal Australian Navy to sustain a presence in hostile and threatening environments.
As ADM reported back in 2008, project Sea 1657, or Cuttlefish, was originally a $3.4 million Capability Technology Demonstrator (CTD) contract signed in March 2006 and due to conclude in March 2009, with a field demonstration – under controlled conditions rather than at sea –in late-2008.
Unfortunately, the project failed to make the cut for extension funding in 2009 and was effectively shelved, with the planned sea trials in April of that year cancelled.
The main focus of Cuttlefish is to counter surveillance aircraft employing advanced imaging radars to detect, identify and track surface ships and coordinate attacks.
With maritime threats evolving and a new generation of high-value amphibious and supply ships already or soon to be in service over the next few years, this technology is designed to help quantify a capability gap.
Cuttlefish has been developed through collaboration between BAE Systems Australia and the DST Group and the funds will enable BAE Systems to continue to mature the Cuttlefish capability for the next 24 months, culminating in sea trials in 2019, ten years after initially foreshadowed.