The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) will receive a state-of-the-art electronic warfare (EW) system as part of the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) capability, which will improve the ability to passively detect, identify and track threats including enemy ships, aircraft and anti-ship missiles.
The AWD Alliance successfully fitted the first EW antenna on top of the mast of the future guided missile destroyer Hobart on 6 August, making it the highest point on the ship.
The location of the antenna is significant as the height provides the range advantage – enabling the Royal Australian Navy to identify threats at the horizon.
“This state-of-the-art EW system is a critical capability for the Navy,” said Commodore Steve Tiffen, General Manager of Stakeholder Engagement in the AWD Alliance.
“It is a passive system that is able to distinguish between friendly, neutral and hostile threats within seconds.”
“This particular EW system, which is also being fitted onto the LHD and Anzac class ships, will significantly improve the Navy’s tactical advantage, by increasing the distance from which threats can be detected.”
“The EW system expands the types of threats that can be detected to encompass the most modern types of radar and communications systems. This will ultimately allow for more time for the crew to react and improve their ability to control the battlespace,” Commodore Tiffen said.
The EW system contributes to the overall defensive ability of the ship, by providing threat and situational information to the overarching tactical picture, and enabling the control and launch of off-board countermeasures, including the Nulka decoy, which is used to defend the ship against anti-ship missiles.
The increased situational awareness also supports the earlier engagement of threats with the AWD’s weapons, providing an important tactical advantage.
Press Release, August 25, 2014; Image: Australian Navy