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C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

Land Forces 2018: Australian DoD receives prototype radar for possible use with NASAMS

05 September 2018
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Australia’s Department of Defence (DoD) has received a prototype vehicle-mounted, active phased-array tactical radar from local company CEA Technologies for potential use in the country’s future ground-based air-defence system.

Australia’s DoD has received a prototype active phased-array tactical radar from CEA Technologies (shown here mounted on a Hawkei vehicle) for potential use with the NASAMS air-defence system being acquired by the country. (Julian Kerr)Australia’s DoD has received a prototype active phased-array tactical radar from CEA Technologies (shown here mounted on a Hawkei vehicle) for potential use with the NASAMS air-defence system being acquired by the country. (Julian Kerr)

The CEATAC radar, which was displayed mounted on an Australian-produced Hawkei light protected vehicle, was formally accepted by Defence Minister Christopher Pyne during the Land Forces 2018 defence exhibition in Adelaide.

CEATAC will potentially replace the ThalesRaytheonSystems AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel high-resolution, 3D radar in providing direct fire control and general surveillance for the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), the acquisition of which is awaiting Second Pass Approval in mid-2019 under Australia's Project Land 19 Phase 7B. CEATAC will also feed into the recognised air picture.

CEATAC is expected to shortly undergo a 12-month-long series of risk mitigation activities. The radar runs off a vehicle-powered generator, but also has a battery pack that can provide back-up power required for at least one hour of operation.

For potential use with NASAMS the Australian company is also developing the larger CEAOPS surveillance and cueing radar: an evolution of the company’s active phased-array S-band ground-based multi-mission radar (GBMMR).

This GBMMR is configurable as either a fixed or truck-mounted system and should be ready for testing in September 2019.

If approved, the NASAMS is set to achieve initial operating capability (IOC) by 2022-23. Full operating capability (FOC) is scheduled for 2025-26.

NASAMS uses a surface-launched mounting built by Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace that was originally developed to launch the Raytheon AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) series of missiles.

Each NASAMS launcher includes six containerised AIM-120 missiles that are mounted onto a truck-mobile pedestal mount. This mount is placed and levelled on the ground before use.

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