The Royal Australian Navy’s Test and Evaluation Authority and Maritime Warfare Centre have served as the central point to develop the tactics and capacity to ensure the Navy can fight and win at sea.
Both organisations apply scientific, engineering and deep warfare experience to ensure we understand what Australia's ships, submarines and aircraft are capable of and how both Navy and the government can get the most out of them.
But it’s now time to take both organisations to the next level and meet the demands of a rapidly growing modern Navy. The advent of the First Principles Review and a national continuous shipbuilding endeavour has driven a re-think of warfighting support.
The Australian government's continuous ship build program and $95 million Naval Shipbuilding Plan requires continuous design, test and tactical development and Navy must evolve to meet this challenge.
Current director of the Test and Evaluation Authority and future director of Maritime Warfare Centre, Captain David Frost, summarised the shift in Australia's maritime warfare paradigm.
"These two organisations have always worked closely, but it’s now time to be one team and provide both Head of Navy Capability and Fleet Commander with a one-stop warfighting support shop," he said.
CAPT Frost added, "We’re learning valuable lessons and collecting significant data every day from the fleet, Defence Science and Technology, and our industry partners. It’s critical that we turn this data into capability for not only our current but also our future fleet."
Under the merge, the Maritime Warfare Centre will establish test and tactic development teams that will support Navy programs from cradle to grave – planning, collecting and analysing data that will inform critical decisions regarding current and future systems.
In parallel, warfare program and operational analysis teams will collaborate with numerous agencies to develop supporting warfare plans across sea control, littoral, integrated air and missile defence, and information warfare domains.
These plans will provide the battle rhythm for all trials, ensuring the right systems are tested at the right time to support the right decisions.
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Underpinning the entire organisation is years of Defence science experience, providing deep specialist support in weapons systems effectiveness and signature analysis and ranging.
From telemetry services in support of missile firings to measuring the signatures of our ships and submarines, these deep skill-sets are critical in the understanding of lethality and vulnerability and will form a strong foundation of the new Maritime Warfare Centre.
The centre will report to the Deputy Fleet Commander and remain at Garden Island in Sydney.
"These two organisations have always worked closely, but it’s now time to be one team and provide both Head of Navy Capability and Fleet Commander with a one-stop warfighting support shop," CAPT Frost explained.
Fleet Commander will formally open the Maritime Warfare Centre on Monday, 20 January, with a launch the following day at the Fleet Warfare Forum.