Overhaul's combat IFF system of HMAS Canberra by Hensoldt

Isa Khan

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According to a press release published by Hensoldt on May 21, 2021, the first of the Navy’s IFF system’s antenna and pedestals from Canberra Class vessels has been overhauled at HENSOLDT Australia’s new overhaul facilities and workshops in Canberra. This is the first of four antennas and pedestals that will undergo repair and deep level maintenance in Australia.

The HENSOLDT facility already supports the IFF interrogator for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) but was expanded to enable local test, overhaul and repair of this additional heavy equipment. This antenna equipment stands more than 2.4m high and 2.6m wide and weighs in at around 350kg and has required the implementation and installation of specialist lifting equipment, power and mechanical interfaces.

Now through this Australian team of technicians, together with the specialist equipment and an onsite store of parts, HENSOLDT Australia can repair, overhaul and commission this crucial Navy capability and bring it back into service more quickly and more cost effectively.

The first step in repair was to conduct a detailed assessment of the antenna and pedestal, then dismantle the systems and address the corrosion together with a heavy duty repaint in the new navy grey to further protect it from future damage in the marine environment. It was reassembled and mounted on a test stand in the warehouse, where HENSOLDT technicians tested it with the replicated control system that is used onboard the ships. This involved both electrical, mechanical and rotational testing of the antenna.

The antenna and pedestal is now re-installed on HMAS Canberra, and HENSOLDT has completed the on-board integration and testing, restoring the IFF system to full capability.

HMAS Canberra (L02) is the lead ship of the Canberra-class landing helicopter dock in service with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Construction of the ship started in Spain in 2008, with the hull launched by Navantia in 2011. Canberra was commissioned on 28 November 2014.

The Canberra-class vessels are 230.82 metres (757.3 ft) long overall, with a maximum beam of 32 metres (105 ft), and a maximum draught of 7.08 metres (23.2 ft).

At full load, Canberra will displace 27,500 tonnes (27,100 long tons; 30,300 short tons), making her the largest vessel to serve in the RAN. Propulsion is provided by two Siemens 11-megawatt (15,000 hp) azimuth thrusters, each with an onboard electric motor, driving two 4.5-metre (15 ft) diameter propellers.

Each ship is fitted with a Saab 9LV Mark 4 combat management system. The sensor suite includes a Sea Giraffe 3D surveillance radar, and a Vampir NG infrared search and track system.

 

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