Submarines: October 29, 2003

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In July, the US Navy awarded a $32.4 million Foreign Military Sales contract to develop five Combat Control System (CCS) Mk2 Replacement Combat Systems for the Royal Australian Navys Collins-class submarines the first export sale of CCS Mk2, which is  used in the US Los Angeles-class subs. The contract includes an integrated test and training facility to be installed at the submarines homeport in RNS Fremantle, plus a land-based development system. 

Australias sixth Collins-class boat will also be equipped with CCS Mk2, according to the Australian governments procurement agency, the Defence Materiel Organization (DMO), although the date has not yet been determined. The first subs retrofit is to be completed in 2006, with the entire fleet upgraded by 2011. 

The CCS Mk2 Block 1C Mod 6 variant system being bought by Australia integrates sensors, combat control, launch, and targeting for such weapons as Tomahawk, Tactical Tomahawk, Harpoon, and the Mk48 Advanced Capability Torpedoes, the latter of which the RAN plans to acquire in the near future. It provides a modular software architecture, introduces Tomahawk Block 3 and Harpoon Block 1C capabilities, and replaces obsolete equipment.  In addition to its weapons systems, the RAN Collins-class boats carry two Strachan and Henshaw submerged signal and decoy ejectors from and an Argo AR-740 electronic support measures unit. The SSDE forged unit containing the ejector barrel and water ram is welded into the hull. The Argo AR-740 operates in the 2-18GHz radar band for coarse and fine monopulse direction finding and uses a superheterodyne/IFM receiver and high-speed pulse signal processor for detection and identification. 

The Collins-class Type 471 SSK was designed for the RAN by Kockums and built by the Australian Submarine Corporation in Adelaide. The first, HMAS Collins (SSG-73), was commissioned in 1996. The fifth, HMAS Rankin (SSG-77), in 2003. Six are planned, all to be based at Cockburn Sound, Western Australia. -- K.B. Sherman


 


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