U.K. navigation and surveillance system specialist Kelvin Hughes will supply the training system for a short-range helicopter control radar for the Royal Australian Navy’s Canberra-class amphibious assault vessels.
The two vessels, Canberra and Adelaide, are due to be commissioned in 2014 to 2015. With a full load displacement of 27,500 metric tons, they are the largest ships the RAN has ever operated.
With flight decks capable of operating six medium helicopters, such as the Sikorsky Black Hawk, or four larger Boeing CH-47 Chinooks, considerable training will be required to bring the vessels’ initial crews up to speed in handling large-scale flight deck operations. Although most RAN combatant ships embark a helicopter, the service’s last “flat-top,” Melbourne, was decommissioned in 1983.
Kelvin Hughes will supply BAE Systems Australia Defence with a shore-based training system in Sydney that will enable operators and maintenance personnel to learn the intricacies of the SharpEye solid state radar and Naval MantaDigital radar display.
The Kelvin Hughes training system will allow trainers to simulate errors, giving trainees the opportunity to experience problems, find the faults and correct the glitches. This is intended to teach students the layout, functions and tactical features of the radar display.
“We are very pleased to be providing a training system that enables a direct comparison between the simulation environment and the operational environment,” said Barry Wade, managing director of Kelvin Hughes. It was a testament, he added, to the flexibility of the open architecture of SharpEye and Naval MantaDigital.