Upgraded Frigate Sonar Rollout Almost Complete
(Source: Royal Australian Navy; issued July 28, 2020)
Upgrades to the Spherion B sonar processing systems in the Navy’s Anzac Class Frigates under SEA 1408 Phase 2 is almost complete.

The SEA 1408 Phase 2 replaced the existing sonar processing system with the sovereign designed Broadband Sonar Advanced Processing System (BSAPS) while still utilising the existing Spherion B Hull Mounted Sonar Wet End.

The BSAPS was jointly developed in a collaboration between Defence Science and Technology (DST), Saab Australia, BAE Systems and Thales Australia.

Deputy Director Combat Systems Commander Danielle Radnidge said the BSAPS project began life as a submission from DST through the Defence Industry Realisation Fund, a precursor to the Defence Innovation Hub.

“The submission was picked up and commercialised by Thales Australia, and showcases Australia’s world class ability to convert science and technology concepts into successful commercial enterprises,” Commander Radnidge said. “This is without doubt, an Australian success story,” she said.

The BSAPS replaces the ‘ship build’ fitted sonar processing system which was supplied to Anzac Class Frigates as part of the original build program in the 1990s.

Responding to the emerging threat situation, a requirement was identified for a system that was more suited to modern submarine and torpedo threats expected to emerge over the lifespan of the Anzac Class Frigate - to date, six of the eight Anzac Class Frigates have been upgraded.

Among the many advantages offered by the SEA 1408 Phase 2 are a significant improvement in sonar passive capability, a greater level of sonar and Combat Management System integration, improved levels of sonar functionality and significant improvements in equipment reliability.

The new sonar system has been integrated with the 9LV Combat Management System and had been successfully demonstrated at sea over a number of years.

This technology has delivered a significantly advanced anti-submarine warfare and torpedo self defence capability to Navy’s Anzac Class Frigates and provides Navy with one of the most advanced, sovereign Hull Mount Sonar capabilities in the world, providing exceptional underwater awareness for our frigates.

The upgrade project management occurred through the Warship Asset Management Agreement Alliance with the Anzac Ships Program Office and SEA 1408 Project Office.

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