Rohde & Schwarz equipping the Royal Navy’s Type 26 with integrated communications system
The Type 26 frigate will replace the Type 23 frigate as a versatile multi-mission warship designed to support anti-submarine warfare, air defense, humanitarian, aid and disaster relief work.
A main focus at DSEI on booth S1-350, Rohde & Schwarz will equip the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates with integrated communications systems, built around NAVICS, under a contract from BAE Systems. The systems interconnect the distributed on-board voice terminals as well as all other subsystems for internal and external communications via a uniform IP network, using of ruggedized, conventional IT technology with accreditable security provided by Rohde & Schwarz. This allows for the number of voice terminals to be reduced and ATEX smartphones to be employed within security-critical environments. The system is operated by an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI).
The full spectrum of external communications for GCS provided by Rohde & Schwarz consists of
- HF communications, providing extended range beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) communications, tactical voice communications and the exchange of high grade messages;
- V/UHF Line of Sight Communications, providing line-of-sight (LOS) voice and data communications with military and civilian air, sea and shore assets;
- Land Forces Tactical Communications, providing tactical communications with land forces; and
- Integration of 3rd party external communication – Military SATCOM (MILSAT), Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), Civil SATCOM, Video Teleconferencing (VTC).
The full spectrum of internal communications for Type 26 provided by Rohde & Schwarz consists of:
- Tactical Voice System and Communications Control Subsystem (TACV/CCS), where TACV provides state of the art internal and external Voice-over-IP (VoIP) communication and CCS provides control and monitoring of equipment plus the definition and activation and management of navy specific communication plans;
- Administrative Telephony and Wireless Communication System (ADTEL/WCS), where ADTEL enables communication between crew members on the vessel, and WCS providing mobile voice terminals for the full range of communication;
- Broadcast and Alarms System, providing broadcast communication and alarm notifications on the ship (Lloyds approved); and
- Self-Powered Telephones, providing emergency point-to-point and group voice communications.
Overall, Rohde & Schwarz’ interfaces and integration for the Type 26 frigates encompasses Mobile Local Communications, enabling full duplex Infra-Red Communication to be mobile in a designated area; Polemasts, enabling the efficient use of various antenna types, e.g. wrap-around, dipole and monopole; Shore Connection Equipment, providing off-ship voice and data communications, while operating at in-port, including wireless (e.g. cellular, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi) and wired (e.g. POTS, ISDN or Ethernet); Multimedia Reception and Distribution, providing live and recorded television and radio reception facilities; and Interface and Integration of government furnished equipment, such as BFBS CAM cards, ship alongside system and cryptographic equipment.
STS Defence, under contract with Rohde & Schwarz, achieved a major milestone for all three sets of Configurable Communications Masts for the first three Type 26 frigates. These are now built and ready for fitting out prior to installation. Work started on the detailed design of the masts in 2016, resulting in this advanced solution, which ensures optimal siting of antennas and built in isolation between different frequency bands to ensure the highest levels of communications performance. All three sets have successfully passed structural acceptance tests with certification from Lloyds Register and work can now start on the equipment and electrical fitting ready for ship installation.
At this year’s DSEi, taking place in London, Rohde & Schwarz showcases its operationally proven and secure NAVICS solution for internal and external communications on board all classes of ships. Today’s Royal Navy platforms carry an abundance of equipment that is originating from several Rohde & Schwarz application segments. References include the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier and River-class patrol vessel alongside the Type 26frigates, the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart-class DDG air warfare destroyers and the Bay-class HMS Choules Landing Ship-Dock (LSD); the German Navy’s K130 corvette, F124 and F125 frigates, Type 702 Berlin-class replenishment ship, Type 423 Oste-class fleet service ship and Type 212 submarine; the French Navy’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier (RIFAN 2.1); the Spanish Navy’s F100 frigate; and many more.
In the last fiscal year, Rohde & Schwarz was able to contract 14 additional platforms with NAVICS integrated naval communications systems. This includes the Danish Navy being the first user to implement the new NATO target architecture BRASS Enhancement One Target Architecture (BRE1TA) for HF communications within the fleet.
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