The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia of equipment associated with the integration of the CEAFAR 2 Phased Array Radar System with the AEGIS Combat System for an estimated cost of $185 million.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale last week, days before the Sea 5000 down select announcement. Spain also bought five Aegis shipsets that week for their frigate program, the F-110; an evolution of the F-100 class in service with Spain and Australia.
Aegis planels as seen on the Hobart class DDGs. Credit: Defence
The Government of Australia has requested to buy long lead items, engineering and development activities, establishment of engineering development sites, and commencement of development activities associated with the integration of the CEAFAR 2 Phased Array Radar System with the AEGIS Combat System.
Included are AEGIS Weapon System Technical Equivalent Components including Command Display System (CDS) Consoles (including 2 consoles in Gun Weapon System configuration); Multi-Mission Display (MMD) systems, including projectors, sensors and cameras; Tactical Equivalent Core Computing System (CCS) Cabinets; Tactical Equivalent AEGIS LAN Interconnect System (ALIS) Cabinets; Tactical Equivalent AEGIS Conversion Equipment Group Input/Output (ACEG I/0) Cabinets; Tactical Equivalent Advanced Storage Area Network (ASAN) Cabinets; Global Command and Control System - Maritime (GCCS-M); Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) sites systems, to include processing rack, simulation equipment and workstation; AN/SPQ-15 Converter/Receiver and /signal data converter equipment; Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DIVDS) cabinet; AN/SQQ-89 Sonobouy Processing Core Computing System racks, with console and laptop; AEGIS simulator racks and workstations; AEGIS Training System; and various ancillary equipment and support products, including desktop computers, displays, test units and compilations servers, printers, workstations, spares, cabling and software licenses.
Also included are spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, engineering and technical services to support sites equipment, US Government and contractor engineering, technical and support services, engineering technical assistance, other technical assistance, and other related elements of program and logistics support.
ADM Comment: While Australia has opted for the Global Combat Ship (GCS) for Sea 5000’s Future Frigates, both the FFG(X) in the US and CSC for Canada are still open.
GSC is a contender for the Canadian program but not the US program where the competition has specifically asked for designs in the water, in service.
Speculation that three of the five eyes community could potentially be operating variants of the GCS is rife. Should the GCS be successful in Canada, the variant differences between the RN, RAN and Canada would be significant given localisation of the designs.
The UK fitout of the Type 23 and Australia’s Hunter class (Aegis/Saab combat management system, CEA radar and other yet to be determined Australianisation elements to be confirmed through the design process) are substantially different from the outset.
A Canadian GCS variant would undoubtedly have its own development path based on the GCS design. ADM will keep an eye out for how the US, Canadian and UK frigate programs develop and perhaps influence our own efforts under Sea 5000.