Halifax frigate upgrade leads to international success [CANSEC17D1]

31 May 2017

Capitalising on more than three decades’ experience as Combat System Integrator (CSI) for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the successful delivery of the 12-ship Halifax Class Modernization (HCM)/Frigate Equipment Life Extension Project (FELEX) programme, Lockheed Martin Canada (Booth 1311) has now secured two major international contracts.

The most recent success, formally announced this month, will see the company take the lead role in the upgrade of the Armada de Chile’s three Type 23 frigates. is follows on from New Zealand’s 2014 decision to contract Lockheed Martin Canada for the modernisation of two ANZAC class frigates under the Frigate Systems Upgrade (FSU) programme.

The RCN’s Halifax class frigates were originally commissioned between 1992 and 1996. Under the HCM/FELEX project, the 12 ships have received both a combat systems upgrade (including a new command and control system, new sensors and electronic warfare systems and upgraded communications) and a planned mid-life overhaul to ensure that they remain effective for the remainder of their service life.

Lockheed Martin Canada was in November 2008 brought under contract as prime contractor, CSI and in-service support agent for the HCM/FELEX project. Under the C$2 billion CSI contract, the company has taken responsibility for the development, integration and test of a new combat management system, together with the procurement and integration of new radars, electronic support measures (ESM), Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment, and a multilink data processor.

At the core of the upgraded combat system is the new open architecture CMS 330 combat management system, which builds on the legacy CCS 330 system, knowledge of the US Navy’s Aegis system, and more than 30 years of experience as the RCN’s incumbent CSI. The open architecture approach embodied in CMS 330 also allowed the company to insert technology matured through Defence Research and Development Canada’s science and technology programme.

Alongside the introduction of CMS 330, the HCM/FELEX programme has seen the Halifax class above-water sensor suite subject to a significant upgrade.

The legacy AN/SPS-49A(V)5 long-range 2D radar has been replaced by the ales Nederland SMART-S Mk 2 3D E/F-band multi-beam surveillance radar for volume search, while the existing Sea Giraffe 150HC G-band target indication radar has been modi ed by Saab to improve performance in high-clutter environments.

A new Mode 5/S IFF suite, at the core of which is the AN/UPX-505 All-Modes IFF system from Telephonics, has been delivered to replace the earlier Mk XII system.

The new IFF system supports all modes of interrogation and each mode is fully integrated with the remainder of the combat system.

The earlier STIR 1.8 fire control radars – used for tracking and target illumination for the semi-active radar homing RIM-7P and later RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles – have also been replaced.

In this case, Saab was contracted to provide its Ceros 200 fire control radar, with systems fitted fore and aft.

Another significant upgrade concerns passive electronic surveillance. The obsolete AN/SLQ-501 CANEWS system has been removed, with Elisra’s NS9003A-V2HC digital ESM system introduced in its place.

To improve tactical data exchange, a new IBM Canada multilink processing system has been introduced to the combat system. is provides interoperability using NATO Link 11 and Link 16, and is enabled for Link 22.

Lockheed Martin Canada has also taken responsibility for integrating other equipment (acquired separately by the Canadian government and supplied to the programme as government-furnished materiel) into the upgraded combat system.

These include the upgraded Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control System (enabling mission planning and launch of the Harpoon Block II missile), and Rheinmetall’s MASS_DUERAS soft-kill decoy system.

HMCS Toronto – the 12th and final ship to be cycled through the HCM/FELEX programme – was redelivered to the Department of National Defence Dockyard in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in November 2016. Domestic attention has now turned to the new Arctic/O shore Patrol Ship (AOPS) project, part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, for which Lockheed Martin Canada is a Tier 1 subcontractor to prime contractor Irving Shipbuilding; in this role, the company is taking responsibility for key integration of data and information sources to increase the ships’ situational awareness, and provide command, control and decision support. A repurposed variant of CMS 330 provides the core solution for AOPS.

The success of the HCM programme, and the proven performance of CMS 330 in RCN service, has also endowed Lockheed Martin Canada with a credible, low-risk solution with which to pursue international business. Efforts in this area reaped a first reward in April 2014 when the company was awarded a NZ$207 million contract by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence to modernise the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN’s) ANZAC frigates HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Te Mana under the FSU programme.

The FSU covers the upgrade of the surveillance, combat and self-defence capabilities of the ANZAC frigates to match current and future threats, while addressing obsolescence in some of the current systems. The full scope includes the replacement of CMS hardware and so ware, new radars, electronic detection and other above-water sensors, improved decoys, a torpedo defence system, an upgrade to the hull-mounted sonar, and the replacement of the RIM-7P SeaSparrow point-defence missile system with a more capable Local Area Air Defence (LAAD) system.

The LAAD requirement is being met through the procurement of the MBDA Sea Ceptor system and its associated Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM).

In its role as prime system integrator, Lockheed Martin Canada is responsible for the design, development and delivery of a nine-console CMS 330 for the two frigates, together with the supply and integration of various sensors, the missile system, and a combat system trainer for Devonport Naval Base in Auckland. e combat system trainer was delivered ahead of schedule to the Maritime Warfare Training Centre at the RNZN’s Devonport base in February 2017.

Several HCM systems are common to the FSU programme (there will be about 70 per cent commonality between the Canadian and New Zealand ships as far as the effort required to deliver the upgrade is concerned).

These include the ales SMART-S Mk 2 radar, the Telephonics IFF suite, the Elisra NS9003A-V2NZ ESM, an IBM-supplied datalink processing system, and the Rheinmetall MASS_DUERAS so -kill system.

A number of new-to-type sensor systems have additionally been selected for the FSU. These comprise Sagem’s Vampir NG infrared search and track system, Saab’s Naval Laser Warning System, and the Kelvin Hughes SharpEye navigation radar. Airborne Systems will provide its FDS-3 passive radar decoy system to meet the ASMD so -kill requirement, while Ultra Electronics’ Sonar Systems business is supplying its Sea Sentor surface ship torpedo defence system.

The majority of the FSU work scope is being completed in Canada at Lockheed Martin facilities in Dartmouth, Kanata and Montreal. The FSU embodiment itself will take place at Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards.

Lockheed Martin Canada’s most recent success for CMS 330 is in South America, with the company brought under contract in February this year as CSI for the upgrade of Chile’s three ex-UK Royal Navy (RN) Type 23 frigates Almirante Cochrane (ex-HMS Norfolk), Almirante Condell (ex-HMS Marlborough) and Almirante Lynch (ex-HMS Graffon). e Armada de Chile selection now places Lockheed Martin Canada’s CMS 330 on four classes of ships across three different navies.

Alongside CMS 330, Lockheed Martin Canada has selected the Hensoldt TRS-4D G-band multifunction surveillance and target acquisition radar (rotating variant) and the MBDA Sea Ceptor anti-air missile system for the Chilean Type 23 upgrade programme. e company is currently working with the Chilean Navy to finalise the programme schedule: the upgrade embodiments will be undertaken in conjunction with Chilean shipyard ASMAR.

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