Every naval ship requires reliable and secure communications, whether it is going out on trials after a refit, or proceeding on an operational mission to distant waters. This requirement has led to a steady program of communication upgrades to the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) ships.

A critical maritime satellite communications (SATCOM) milestone was achieved a couple of years ago when HMAS Parramatta was the first of 16 RAN ships to have upgraded maritime satellite communications terminals installed. The remaining 15 ships Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment tankers, Landing Helicopter Dock ships, the ANZAC fleet, the Guided Missile Destroyers and amphibious support ship HMAS Choules should all have been upgraded during their planned maintenance cycles by the end of 2022.

The upgraded terminals will provide increased bandwidth, greater efficiency of Defence satellite capacity and enhanced network interoperability between ships, aircraft and land-based platforms. As part of the program, the land based MASTIS training facility has been upgraded at North Ryde for RAN training.

Meanwhile project SEA 1442 Phase 4 upgrading the communications capability in the eight Anzac Class Frigates is being conducted at Henderson WA as part of the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program.

It has addressed intercom, communications red/black switching, system obsolescence in the Class, by modernising it with improved communications management, secure voice and tactical radios and a high data rate line-of-sight capability.

The project has also delivered support systems, a secondary Maritime Tactical Wide Area Network. Shore Gateway and upgraded the Anzac Combat System Trainer Communications Terminals.

Defence says of SEA 1442 Phase 4: “Three ships have been accepted into operational service (HMAS Arunta, ANZAC and Waramanga) and installation and testing have been completed in the fourth ship (HMAS Perth). Perth’s sea trials are to commence shortly, and its acceptance scheduled for Aug 2022. Three further ships (HMAS Toowoomba, Stuart & Ballarat are currently on the hard stand at Henderson WA for installation work.

This is an excerpt from APDR. To read the full story click here.

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