Rohde & Schwarz has been contracted by Navantia to provide secure communications capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy’s auxiliary oiler and replenishment ships.
Shipbuilding company Navantia has tasked Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) with delivering line of sight and beyond line of sight communication capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy’s auxiliary oiler and replenishment ships (AOR) — HMAS Supply and HMAS Stalwart.
The sub-contractor’s systems consist of R&S M3SR software defined radios (R&S Series4100 HF and R&S Series4400 VHF/UHF).
According to R&S, all HF transceivers and receivers are HF wideband ready for future data communications, with system racks were delivered to Navantia's shipyard in Ferrol, Spain, for integration and testing onboard the ships.
R&S’ managing director, Australia, Gareth Evans, said this latest contract would further expand the firm’s role in supporting local defence capability.
“Rohde & Schwarz (Australia) is increasing its presence in the RAN fleet with this contract,” he said.
“We are providing integrated communications systems for six Cape Class patrol boats to add to the extant external communications for Hobart Class destroyers and communications systems onboard HMAS Choules, with capability sustainment available from our Australian engineering facility.
“We are very proud to have our equipment deployed in HMA Ships Supply and Stalwart providing a future-ready capability on time and on budget. Rohde & Schwarz has provided more than 40 navies with state-of-the-art communications technology.”
The arrival of the AOR Supply also brings the commencement of a five-year sustainment contract, primed by Navantia Australia, which will generate more opportunities for Australian companies to join Navantia’s global supply chain and create jobs for Australian workers.
Based on the Spanish Navy's Cantabria Class vessel, the new AORs will replace Durance Class HMA Ships Success and Sirius.
The ships are intended to carry fuel, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment and spare parts to provide operational support for the deployed naval or combat forces operating far from the port on the high seas for longer periods.
Two Supply Class AORs will be named HMA Ships Supply (II) and Stalwart (III) once commissioned. The lead ship, Supply, was laid down on 18 November 2017 and then launched at the Navantia Shipyards in Ferrol, Spain, on 24 November 2018.
The following day, in accordance with ship building tradition the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, positioned a coin under where the hull will be constructed for Stalwart.
In addition to replenishment, the vessels can be used to combat against environmental pollution at sea, provide logistics support for the armed forces, and to support humanitarian and disaster relief operations following a natural disaster.
HMAS Supply, which underwent sea trials in August, is set to enter service with the RAN early next year, while HMAS Stalwart is due to commence service with the fleet in 2022.