The amphibious assault ship’s communications capabilities have been bolstered following a two-month-long upgrade.
Navantia Australia has installed a new Tri-Band Inmarsat GX and X/Ka-band WGS Satellite Communications (SATCOM) on the Royal Australian Navy’s Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, HMAS Canberra.
The upgrade, which forms part of Navantia Australia’s broader support for the Royal Australian Navy under the Asset Class Prime Contractor (ACPC) Enterprise arrangement, aims to increase deployed bandwidth availability, enhancing crew conditions and Quality of Life functions while at sea.
The bolstered SATCOM capability is expected to improve digital connectivity by supporting voice, video, social media, internet access and personal communications to enable both the permanent and embarked forces to stay connected.
The upgrade was led by Navantia Australia’s Naval Design and Engineering Centre in Melbourne, which was supported by the LHD Field Engineering group and Navantia Australia’s procurement team in Sydney.
The work included the design and platform integration of a suitable foundation for the antennas (one forward and one aft), as well as design of below deck cabling and routing to the cabinets.
Electrical components for the task were also procured by the firm, including fibre, coaxial and power cables, connectors, glands, armoured conduit, and Fibre Optic Break Out Trays.
Navantia Australia’s managing director, Israel Lozano Barragan, lauded the speed and efficiency of the delivery, with the entire project completed in just eight weeks.
“While this type of activity typifies the type of engineering capability that Navantia Australia performs under sustainment, what is remarkable in this circumstance are the timeframes involved,” he said.
“That the first foundation was craned onto HMAS Canberra in just seven weeks’ following the initial creation of the task, epitomises Navantia Australia’s core values of teamwork and being committed to outcomes.”
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The firm’s design team comprised of engineers from combat systems integration, electrical, general design and outfitting, structures, and drafting as well as project management, design authority, field engineering and procurement.
Navantia Australia’s foundation design was supported by IKAD Engineering as part of a subcontract from Naval Ship Management (Australia), while Marine Technicians Australia supported electrical production work.
News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.