The British Government will look at the feasibility of fitting cutting-edge Australian radar on future British warships, according to Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.
The announcement made by the Under Secretary of State for Defence Procurement, Harriet Baldwin during her visit to Adelaide today, is for a capability study to fit CEA Technologies’ ‘CEAFAR’ radar to British ships and it will begin early next year. The radar is already in-service with the RAN's Anzac class frigates.
"The decision came after the Australia/UK Defence Industry Dialogue which took place in the United Kingdom last week," Minister Pyne said. The partnership is seen as a vehicle for accelerating co-operation between the two nations.
The Government has mandated that Australia’s future frigates will have a CEA radar as one of its core capabilities.
While in Australia, Minister Baldwin also flew in an E7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft and drove a Thales Bushmaster vehicle to deepen her understanding of these capabilities.
According to Minister Pyne, the meeting also discussed Australia’s soon to be released Defence Export Strategy; as well as the UK’s recently released National Shipbuilding Strategy.
ADM Comment: Early 2012 designs for the Type 26 featured the Type 997 Artisan 3D air search radar but the Global Combat Ship design for Sea 5000 submitted by BAE Systems includes the CEAFAR phased array radar. If not for the Type 26, perhaps the UK is considering the use of CEA technology for the Royal Navy's Type 31e frigate, also known as the Type 31 frigate or General Purpose Frigate, for which a competitive tender began earlier in the year.
Parting with its tradition of bidding for such projects as prime, BAE Systems will partner with Cammell Laird, with an opposing bid expected from a partnership between Babcock International and naval designer BMT. The Type 31 is intended to enter service in the 2020s alongside the more advanced Type 26 frigate, currently being built by BAE Systems and a contender for Australia's Sea 5000 Future Frigate program as the Global Combat Ship.