The Royal Australian Navy’s latest upgrade of the Mark 15 Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) has reached a major milestone by achieving Initial Operating Capability (IOC).
Delivered on schedule, the upgraded capability is being progressively rolled out until late 2023 across Navy’s Destroyers, Amphibious Ships and new Supply Class Tankers.
The Block 1B Baseline 1 standard introduced a high-definition electro-optical (EO) channel to complement the Ku-band search and track radars, together with a separate video tracker to support surface mode tracking and fire-control generation.
The Block 1B Baseline 2 configuration introduced a digital hardware upgrade for the search and tracking radars that improves the short-range air radar picture.
Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds said the upgraded system delivers improved lethality and a broader range of protection for Navy ships in fast-moving combat situations.
“The first system, which incorporates the upgrade to Block 1B Baseline 2 of the Phalanx system, has already been installed into HMAS Sydney which will ensure she enters service as Australia’s most potent and capable warship,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The system significantly boosts HMAS Sydney’s self defence capability, providing new generation technology to Navy vessels and ensuring the highest levels of protection from modern systems.”
The second unit of the upgraded system was delivered in 2019 and will be used to provide comprehensive training in Australia, supported by local industry and increasing self-reliance in the training pipeline, according to the Minister’s statement.
ADM understands that Block 1B baseline 1 systems were removed from retiring RAN ships to be upgraded and placed on new ships.