BAE Systems has been awarded a contract to provide the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with third-generation, improved anti-ship missile test capabilities.

Under the three-year, $32m contract, BAE Systems will design, develop, evaluate and deliver the future advanced threat simulator (FATS) capability suite.

Work under the project will begin this month at the company’s Edinburgh Parks facility in South Australia.

"We are very pleased to play such a pivotal part in the development of the next-generation of threat emulation capability for defence."

BAE Systems Australia CEO Glynn Phillips said: “At the heart of this impressive technology is local innovation; the simulator is an advanced capability, developed by our specialist engineering team here in South Australia.

“It underscores to our defence customer that we have an airborne test and evaluation capability unmatched within Australia.

“We are very pleased to play such a pivotal part in the development of the next-generation of threat emulation capability for defence.”

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By GlobalData

Leveraging BAE System’s existing capabilities from the generic threat simulator and airborne millimetre-wave stimulator (AMS) product lines, FATS is an airborne radar system that closely replicates the in-flight characteristics of a range of anti-ship missiles.

It will provide testing, evaluation and fleet training capabilities for the RAN to help promote the development of advanced maritime self-protection concepts.

In its flight mode, the FATS is configured in an underwing pod and flown at low altitudes, from a defence contracted Learjet carriage aircraft against the target ship to simulate the flight profile of a sea-skimming anti-ship missile.

It also allows FATS to closely imitate the behaviour of the missile’s seeker.

In a separate development, the Commonwealth of Australia and BAE Systems have signed a contract to further develop the design of the RAN’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) under the SEA 5000 (Future Frigate) programme.

This is part of the Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP) being conducted by the Australian Department of Defence for the SEA5000 Future Frigate Programme. The commonwealth has also entered into similar agreements with Fincantieri and Navantia.