Rohde & Schwarz (Australia) has signed a contract with Austal to deliver integrated communications systems for six Cape class patrol boats contracted by the Department of Defence for use by the RAN.
The Cape class are currently in production at Austal’s Henderson shipyard in WA and are to be delivered from September 2021.
The new patrol boats will include a number of enhancements that include Rohde & Schwarz communications equipment, including the company’s Naval Integrated Communications System (NAVICS) with multi-layer security and secure external line of sight (V/UHF) and beyond line of sight communications (HF).
“As a communications systems integrator, we have unique perspective and capability along with clear technical superiority of our solutions, particularly NAVICS," Managing Director of Rohde & Schwarz Australia, Gareth Evans, said. “One of the exciting aspects of this system is its true VoIP switching, it’s not a hybrid TDM solution. This makes it both future-proof and scalable. NAVICS also reduces the integration effort and risk associated with incorporating third party components using its versatile IP gateways.
“Rohde & Schwarz (Australia) established a very competent integration capability for Australian industry in Sydney to complement our existing maintenance and world-class calibration facilities. This opportunity ensures Australian jobs are created and supply chain opportunities continue for Australia’s shipbuilding industry. ”
Ben Wardle, General Manager Australian Shipbuilding at Austal said the company was looking forward to working with Rohde & Schwarz to deliver an effective integrated communications system for the Cape class patrol boats.
“For the new Cape class patrol boat contract with the Department of Defence, Austal conducted extensive market testing for a new, proven partner that would be able to meet or exceed the technical scope of the project, whilst maintaining Australian Industry engagement.
“We were very pleased to find Rohde & Schwarz could fulfil this scope and we look forward to working with both the Australian and German based teams to deliver the very best integrated communications system for RAN’s new Capes,” Wardle said.
“This contract represents a clear commitment by Austal and the Australian Government to strengthen the Cape class with Top-of-Class communication solutions by Rohde & Schwarz,” Hansjörg Herrbold, Vice President Market Segment Navy Rohde & Schwarz, said. “NAVICS is being deployed on numerous naval vessels, including the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates and was on display at the recent Pacific 2019 exhibition in Sydney.”
NAVICS uses state-of-the-art VoIP and Ethernet standards. Following market tendencies Rohde & Schwarz says it has decided to abandon outdated TDM technology, which required heavy proprietary hardware.
Instead, NAVICS relays on widely spread industry standards and commercial-of-the-shelf hardware. A multilevel security architecture allows secure, trusted and tamper-proof communications between multiple domains with different security classifications.