HENSOLDT Australia has overhauled the first of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Canberra Class vessels’ identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system antenna and pedestals.

The company is under contract to repair and perform deep level maintenance of four antennas and pedestals.

The HENSOLDT facility already supports the IFF interrogator for the RAN and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

However, the company’s work was expanded to allow local test, overhaul and repair of this additional equipment.

This antenna equipment stands over 2.4m tall, 2.6m wide, and weighs 350kg.

As part of the first step in repair, HENSOLDT ‘conducted a detailed assessment of the antenna and pedestal’, then disassembled the systems and addressed the corrosion together with a heavy duty repaint.

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The antenna and pedestal were reassembled and mounted on a test stand in the warehouse, where the company’s technicians tested it with the replicated control system.

The company has completed the ‘on-board integration and testing’ and restored the IFF system to full capability. It has also been re-installed on HMAS Canberra.

HENSOLDT managing director Jon Wachman said: “When HENSOLDT Australia was contracted to update the interrogator on the HMAS Canberra, routine testing identified problems with the pedestals and antennas.

“Investigations uncovered that the equipment was failing and impacting operational performance.”

“After assessing with the navy the overseas repair options and timeframe, and as experts in sensor solutions, we agreed to expand our Australian capability to support the complete antenna system on board the LHD, backed by a local supply chain and expertise.”

In 2018, HMAS Canberra conducted the first flight trial with Eurocopter Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters (ARHs).