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MV Sycamore multi-role aviation training vessel (MATV) – Now in SYDNEY

“It is definitely an impressive sight to see the Sycamore enter Sydney Harbour,” states Damen Sales Director Asia Pacific Roland Briene.

Terry Turner

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Completing her maiden voyage, the Damen Multi-role Aviation Training Vessel (MATV) MV Sycamore arrived in Sydney Harbour early on Monday morning. The 94-metre long vessel is now less than a month away from deployment as a versatile multi-role vessel and helicopter training platform for the Royal Australian Navy.

“It is definitely an impressive sight to see the Sycamore enter Sydney harbour,” states Damen Sales Director Asia Pacific Roland Briene. “The MATV project really highlights what can be achieved with this joint team effort. We have accomplished the on-time and on-budget construction of a complex vessel that will provide an efficient, functional and comfortable training platform for the Royal Australian Navy.”

The MV Sycamore is a special purpose ship that has been designed and constructed to combine both commercial and military characteristics. Although the vessel will be commercially operated, she will integrate numerous strategic features. These include, for example, a helicopter deck with associated training facilities, dedicated aviation operational spaces, multifunctional mission deck and workshops as installed on the latest Royal Australian Navy ships – all meeting SOLAS Regulations.

A Defence spokesperson advised Defence + Industry Magazine today that MV Sycamore will commence first-of-class flight trials (FOCFTs) for the helicopter aircrew training system (HATS) in the latter part of 2017 and will be available to train the first HATS students in 2018.

Not limited to helicopter-related operations, the MATV will also enable the Royal Australian Navy to carry out navigation and air traffic control training, officer familiarisation, target towing, torpedo and mine recovery operations, and dive and unmanned aerial vehicle support.

Cooperative success

The 14-day maiden voyage has brought some relevant points to light, Mr Briene goes on to say. “So far the MV Sycamore has proved to be very fuel efficient, with a range exceeding the contracted requirements. What’s more, she has encountered some rough weather, causing significant movement, which she handled very well.”

“Achieving this milestone has involved close collaboration with all parties; the Commonwealth of Australia’s MATV project team, Serco’s defence engineering team, who have overseen the design and verification process, Lloyd’s Register, as well as the Damen project and production team.”

The official handover of the MV Sycamore to the Royal Australian Navy is scheduled for 28 July 2017.

Terry Turner is Senior Editor for Defence.com.au and Editor in Chief for the entire stable of CYBER PRESS magazines.CYBER PRESS is an Australian media business specialising in multi-channel broad audience online digital publishing. Our company is the evolution of Eco Magazines, Australia's premiere dedicated online publisher of full-format digital magazines. Put simply, we specialise, where many merely dabble.

Navy

Future Frigate capability described by Chief of Navy

SEA 5000 Phase 1 Announcement

D+I Newsroom

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Photo: Department of Defence

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, describes the capability of the Future Frigate to members of Air Warfare Destroyer, NUSHIP Brisbane’s, ship’s company at Osborne in South Australia.

On 29 June 2018, BAE Systems Australia were announced as the successful bid to design the Global Combat Ship – Australia Hunter Class frigates, to be built by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, South Australia.

SEA 5000 Phase 1 Future Frigate Program will deliver anti-submarine warfare frigates,the Hunter class.

The Hunter class enter service in the late 2020s replacing the eight Anzac frigates, which have been in service since 1996.

The Hunter class will have the capability to conduct a variety of missions independently, or as part of a task group, with sufficient range and endurance to operate effectively throughout the region.

The frigates will also have the flexibility to support non-warfare roles such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Incorporating the leading-edge Australian-developed CEA Phased-Array Radar and the US Navy’s Aegis combat management system, with an Australian interface developed by Saab Australia, the Hunter class will be one of the most capable warships in the world.

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Defence Industry

Chief of Navy closes Sea Power Conference

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, spoke at the closing ceremony of the 2017 SeaPower conference

D+I Newsroom

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Last week the Royal Australian Navy hosted the biennial Sea Power Conference, with senior naval delegations from around the world descending on Sydney for three days of discussions and Navy-to-Navy engagements.

Run alongside the Pacific 2017 international maritime exposition, Sea Power Conference is Navy’s premier gathering of naval chiefs and this year will explore the broad theme of ‘The Navy and the Nation’, focusing on maritime identity, the significance of maritime economics and use of oceans.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, spoke at the closing ceremony of the 2017 SeaPower conference while onboard the recently commissioned Air Warfare Destroyer HMAS Hobart.

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Army

Army’s Hawkei demonstrates Operational Intelligence

The CASG Land 121 Phase 4 project team has put the Hawkei protected vehicle’s new C4I Integral Computing System (ICS) to the test.

Terry Turner

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The Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group’s (CASG) Land 121 Phase 4 project team has put the Hawkei protected vehicle’s new C4I Integral Computing System (ICS) to the test, during a demonstration of the deployable Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light (PMV-L) capability at the Monegeetta Proving Ground.

During the activity a Project Charter for the ICS was signed, guiding the interaction and collaboration between Defence and the nine contractors involved in delivery of the ICS; Thales Australia, Cablex, Elbit Land Systems Australia, Esterline, Harris Australia, Kongsberg, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, and Thomas Global Systems.

Land 121 Phase 4 Project Director COL John McLean said that the ICS reflects the Australian Army’s requirement for a more integrated approach to C4I on vehicles that realises benefits in the areas of useability, space, weight and power.

“Using generic vehicle architecture (GVA) and a central computing concept to host various C4I systems and communications, the ICS will optimise and centralise the flow of information to the user, enabling rapid decision making and multitasking at levels not previously achievable on land based platforms,” COL McLean said.

“The new ICS will enable the vehicle operator to manage radios, sensors, the Battle Management System, and weapon systems – all through a common interface.

“The ICS was demonstrated to work successfully with Army’s Battle Management System and communications suite, as well as other features and systems of the deployable PMV-L capability.”

While the demonstration was a contractual requirement for Hawkei’s Bendigo-based manufacturer Thales, it also gave the invited Defence stakeholders an opportunity to see the deployable PMV-L’s various planned features, including:

  • Integral Computing System (ICS) Command Vehicle installation
  • Battle Management System (BMS) operating on Windows 10
  • Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS)
  • Digital Terminal Control Station (DTCS)
  • Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs)
  • Force Protection Electronic Counter Measures (FPECM)
  • Rocket Propelled Grenade Cage
  • Remote Weapon Station
  • Manned Weapon Mount

Visitors were also able to experience the handling characteristics and performance of the Hawkei through an interactive patrol demonstration.

The initial baseline of the C4I ICS will be available on low-rate-initial-production vehicles from 2018.

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