Australia has received the second Phalanx Block 1B Close-In Weapon System from Raytheon for installation aboard the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) newest Hobart-class air warfare destroyer (AWD), HMAS Brisbane.
The first of three Phalanx systems was delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in late-2012 for installation aboard the first Hobart-class ship, HMAS Hobart, as part of a previously awarded direct commercial sale contract.
The third system is scheduled to be installed onto HMAS Sydney, the third Hobart-class destroyer, in 2014.
Raytheon Missile Systems naval and area mission defence product line vice-president Rick Nelson said that the Phalanx systems provide advanced ship self-defence capabilities.
"Thanks to recent engineering changes, we have improved the system's reliability, added capability and greatly improved the sailor-to-machine interface in order to defeat extended-range air and surface threats," Nelson said.
Designed to automatically detect, evaluate, track and engage targets, the Phalanx weapon system will enable commanders to conduct missions remotely usually performed by separate systems on other ships in blue water or the littorals, according to Nelson.
Capable of defending and destroying missiles and aircraft within a range of 150km, the AWDs can support a range of missions, including law enforcement operations, military aid to the civil community, collection of environmental data, rescue operations and diplomatic roles.
HMAS Hobart is expected to be delivered to RAN in early 2016, while HMAS Brisbane is likely to start consolidation in early 2014.
To date, Raytheon has delivered more than 890 Phalanx weapon systems to navies of 25 countries.
Image: Illustration of Australian Navy's AWD installed with Phalanx weapon system. Photo: courtesy of AWD Alliance.