18 April 2013

Two Phalanx CIWS for RAN's future Hobart class AWD's arrive in Adelaide

Block 1B Phalanx (Wiki Info - Image: Wiki)

A key piece of the combat system for the Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers - the Phalanx Close-In-Weapon-System (CIWS) - has arrived in Adelaide.

The Phalanx system for the future destroyers Hobart and Brisbane have been shipped from the United States to the AWD Alliance, CEO Rod Equid said today.

“The Phalanx CIWS includes a fast-reaction 20mm Gatling gun that will provide the destroyers with a line of defence against anti-ship missiles, littoral or close to shore warfare threats, and aircraft at short range,” Mr Equid said. 

“It has the ability to automatically carry out functions usually performed by separate systems including target detection, evaluation, tracking and engagement.

“The weapon system is made up of a rotating cluster of six barrels that fire ammunition at a rate of up to 4,500 rounds per minute, as well as search and track radars, with an integrated electro-optic sensor.

“The AWD Phalanx CIWS, the Mk15 Block 1B, is integrated into the Aegis Weapon System and is an updated version of the equipment already in use by the Royal Australian Navy on the Adelaide Class guided-missile frigates.”

The Phalanx is located at the rear of the ship on top of the helicopter hangar, overlooking the flight deck.

The Phalanx CIWS, built by Raytheon Missile Systems USA, was acquired by Raytheon Australia on behalf of the AWD Alliance.  The $35 million contract includes the manufacture and delivery of the Phalanx weapon system for all three Air Warfare Destroyers.

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The AWD Alliance is executing an innovative program to design, integrate and test the Hobart Class combat system. The combat system for the destroyers is made up of the Aegis weapon system with the Australian-selected additions, interfaced with Aegis using the Australian Tactical Interface. 

The Alliance is responsible for delivering three destroyers to the Royal Australian Navy.  The Alliance is made up of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) representing the Australian Government, ASC as the lead shipbuilder and Raytheon Australia as the mission systems integrator.

The AWDs are being built for Australia’s specific defence needs and will provide a significant increase in Australia’s defence capabilities.