Austal has agreed a contract with Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) Australia to deliver integrated communications systems.

The systems are for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) six Cape class patrol boats (CCPB).

The updated boats will be equipped with R&S’ Naval Integrated Communications System (NAVICS), with secure external line of sight (V/UHF) and beyond line of sight communications (HF).

The CCPBs are currently in production at Austal’s Henderson shipyard in Western Australia under a contract from the Australian Department of Defence (DoD). They are scheduled to be delivered from September next year.

R&S Australia managing director Gareth Evans said: “As a communications systems integrator, we have unique perspective and capability along with clear technical superiority of our solutions, particularly NAVICS.

“One of the exciting aspects of this system is its true Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) switching, it’s not a hybrid TDM solution. This makes it both future-proof and scalable.

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“NAVICS also reduces the integration effort and risk associated with incorporating third party components using its versatile IP gateways.”

Work under the contract will create job opportunities in the supply chain for Australia’s shipbuilding industry.

Austal Australian Shipbuilding general manager Ben Wardle said: “For the new Cape class patrol boat contract with the DoD, Austal conducted extensive market testing for a new, proven partner that would be able to meet or exceed the technical scope of the project, whilst maintaining Australian industry engagement.

“We were very pleased to find R&S could fulfil this scope and we look forward to working with both the Australian and German based teams to deliver the very best integrated communications system for RAN’s new Capes.”