Rohde & Schwarz Australia has been awarded a contract to support the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Hunter-class frigate programme.

Signed with BAE Systems Australia’s maritime division, the contract will see Rohde & Schwarz design and produce integrated communication system (ICS) for the RAN’s Hunter-class frigates.

The company will also provide in-country programme management, integration, system engineering, installation and verification services for the procurement and introduction of the ICS into the service.

The contract also includes additional work options over a period.

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Rohde & Schwarz Australia managing director Gareth Evans said: “On Hunter, Rohde & Schwarz Australia will be seeking to maximise opportunities for competitive Australian industry to assist in the manufacture, integration, testing and commissioning of the communication system.

“We have also secured from STS Defence in the UK the technology transfer and licence to manufacture the Configurable Communication Masts or pole masts, for the Hunter-class.”

In 2018, BAE Systems was awarded a contract from the Australian Government to design, build and deliver nine Hunter-class frigates for the RAN.

BAE Systems has already begun the construction work on the frigates and completed the system design review (SDR) in February.

The Hunter-class frigates will be based on the design of RAN’s Type 26 or City-class ships, which are under construction in Glasgow. 

Rohde & Schwarz’s naval ICS (NAVICS) is an IP based solution designed to ensure secure voice and data communications.

NAVICS has been installed into the UK Navy’s Type 26 frigates and RAN’s evolved Cape Class Patrol Boats (ECCPB).

Rohde & Schwarz Australia maritime domain head Kieran McLaughlin said: “NAVICS will revolutionise on-board communications for the RAN, implementing the most modern IP- based Multi-Level Security (MLS) architecture for naval vessels.”

“Rohde & Schwarz Australia’s role as the CSI on the ECCPB underpins the knowledge transfer through our Australian capability.”