The navies of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Portugal will upgrade some of their surface ships with the latest version (the sixth) of the Integrated Communications Control System, produced by Portuguese communications specialist EID.

Under the M-class frigates user group memorandum of understanding (MoU), a contract with a maximum value of EUR15 million is to be awarded by the Portuguese Government for the supply of 10 ICCS6 systems. For this purpose, the three navies set up a joint working arrangement.

Five systems will be installed on board Portuguese ships: two M-class frigates (Bartolomeu Dias and Dom Francisco de Almeida) and 3 Vasco da Gama class frigates.

Three systems will be fitted to the Royal Netherlands Navy’s (RNlN) M frigates and the landing platform dock HNLMS Rotterdam.

The two M-class frigates of the Belgian Navy (Leopold I and Louise-Marie) will also be upgraded.

The first vessel to receive ICCS6 will be an RNlN frigate, whereas the last one will be a Portuguese MEKO200 in 2020.

It should be noted that the Vasco da Gama frigates were originally fitted with the second generation of ICCS in the early 90s, and that ICCS4 was installed on board HNLMS Rotterdam a few years later.

The ICCS system is based on a distributed architecture, being composed of a number of switches, user terminals and workstations.

ICCS6 features Internet Protocol technology and was designed specifically to provide an efficient ships communications management tool. With a high degree of automation, the system uses a modular and flexible concept, capable of being tailored and configured to meet the communications requirements of any type of warship.

EID’s ICCS series can be found in platforms across a range of navies including Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

ICCS6 is due for installation on the UK Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship that BAE Systems is expected to build.

Overall, ICCS series systems equip more than 120 vessels of different types: patrol boats, corvettes, frigates, destroyers, landing ships and other support ships, aircraft carriers, and submarines.