Hanwha Defence Australia (HDA) and Kongsberg Defence Australia (KDAu) recently celebrated a critical milestone after the successful delivery of the first CORTEX C4 (command, control, communications and computers) systems including initial software to HDA in Korea for installation into the First of Type AS9 and AS10 Huntsman family of vehicles being acquired under LAND 8116 Phase 1 Protected Mobile Fires.
In December 2021, KDAu signed a contract with HDA for C4 systems and their integration into the program to deliver the Australian Army’s first self-propelled howitzer capability.
KDAu, with the support and commitment from Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, is HDA’s C4 Integration partner. The C4 System comprises of CORTEX Software, Integrated Combat Solution and Fire Control System, as an integral part of the complete fleet of AS9 and AS10.
The project includes the integration of tactical communication systems and related systems to ensure the Protected Mobile Fires capability is aligned with the Army’s C4 Force Structure. This includes the technology transfer for CORTEX software development source code and expertise to KDAu from Europe.
The project includes integration of Army’s current fleet(s) of 155 mm ammunition into AS9 and AS10, ensuring Joint Fires interoperability within the Joint Force and also with Coalition partners.
Fire and explosion suppression capability demonstrated
In the latest round of testing for the LAND 8116 Phase 1 program to deliver the Huntsman family of vehicles, the automatic fire and explosion suppression capability has been successfully demonstrated.
The partnership between Hanwha Defence Australia (HDA), Sydney-based HIFraser and Busan-based DNB has demonstrated compliance to international test standards utilising DNB’s Automatic Fire and Explosion Suppression System (AFESS) technology, a first for the Korea-based manufacturer DNB.
HIFraser and DNB have been working together on the program to enact a technology transfer program to allow the two companies to work together not just for the Australian program but for global opportunities too.
Under the agreement for Huntsman production, the first three sets of AFESS will be assembled by DNB in Busan, Republic of Korea, using a combination of Korean and Australian supplied components.
The remaining 42 systems will be assembled by HIFraser in Sydney, Australia, with a greater amount of Australian supplied equipment. These systems will then be delivered to Hanwha’s Armoured vehicle Centre of Excellence (H-ACE) at Geelong for integration into the vehicles.
The testing activity occurred in early November at DNB’s facility and was conducted on steel hull structures designed to mimic the internal volume and layout of the AS9 vehicle. Two test rigs went through a series of assessments to test the efficacy of the AFESS system – including an engine compartment fire suppression test, fire suppressant concentration tests, and a crew compartment hydrocarbon explosion suppression test. All tests are expected to achieve successful results against contracted requirements.