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UK company sets sights on Australian naval programs

collins class hmas farncomb
Collins Class Submarine HMAS Farncomb. Image via Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

A UK naval communications specialist is looking to to address surface and sub-surface maritime programs in Australia.

Cohort company SEA is looking to have its Flexible Integrated Communications System (Flex-ICS) used on the $50 billion Future Submarines being designed and built by Naval Group.

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SEA said it believes that its proven Flex-ICS will be an attractive option to the combat systems integrator in the project to replace the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins Class submarines.

SEA is currently retrofitting its Flex-ICS to existing and new UK Royal Navy (RN) Astute Class submarines, and has been tasked with extending Flex-ICS to all classes of RN submarines.

Flex-ICS is a modular, reconfigurable system utilising open interfaces and standards and uses products that have been proven at sea by the RN.

SEA managing director Steve Hill explained, "We are continually developing the system to ensure it can exploit new technologies and so provide system improvements and enhanced capability. Our Flex-ICS is now recognised as one of the preferred communications tools by the Royal Navy, and we believe that it is also an ideal choice for requirements in export markets such as Australasia."

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SEA said the system is a major step forward in flexibility and sustainability, allowing new communications equipment to be fitted much faster and at significantly lower cost than earlier generations. Flex-ICS can be added as part of an upgrade or as the core of a new communications system on both ships and submarines.

In a media statement, the UK company said the system can be further enhanced by improving redundancy through the inclusion of MdN4G wireless technology, a ruggedised long-term evolution small cell “network-in-a-box” that provides the connectivity needed to operate smart phone or tablet-based solutions where regular networks are unavailable or unreliable. A suitable backhaul link (e.g. satellite or network) permits the system to link to standard onshore communications.

 

UK company sets sights on Australian naval programs
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