Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced the arrival in Adelaide of the first of three state of the art horizon-search radars for the Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs).
“The AN/SPQ-9B radar is located on the main mast of the destroyers and can track over 200 radar contacts simultaneously with a high level of accuracy”, Mr Clare said.
“It will be used to search and track targets immediately above the sea surface, such as low-flying aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles.
“The Royal Australian Navy is the first Navy outside of the United States to receive the radar which is manufactured by US company Northrop Grumman.
“It was purchased by the Australian Government through the United States Foreign Military Sales program at a cost of around $10 million each.”
“Each AWD will have anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capability as well as the ability to embark a helicopter at sea.
Construction of the AWDs involves the fabrication of 90 separate steel blocks, 30 for each ship, as well as three additional sonar blocks at a number of shipyards in Australia and overseas.
So far this year the gun software and gun weapon systems have been received, and the combat system is currently being tested in the United States.
By the end of 2013, 34 more blocks are due to be completed, work will have begun on the third ship HMAS Sydney and trials of crew training will have commenced.
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