NSWC Port Hueneme Designs, Integrates Fire Control System for Royal Australian Navy

Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme Division announced July 14 that they have successfully designed and integrated a fire control system upgrade aboard the Royal Australian Navy guided-missile frigate HMAS Sydney, culminating a four-year effort for the RAN to launch standard missiles (SM-2) from Adelaide-class ships.

Personnel from Port Hueneme were responsible for the design, development, integration and test of the software upgrade to the weapons control processor of the Mk 92 Fire Control System, which is a key element in the system that provides the new capability to launch SM-2 missiles from a RAN frigate Mk 13 launcher.

The system underwent successful at-sea demonstrations June 13-20 near the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands. The event served as a combined development and operational test of the ability to deploy the SM-2 in mid-course guidance mode. While in this mode, the SM-2 is instructed to only track the target several seconds before the intercept, allowing the missile to fly silently.

“The main objective of the firing event was to verify that the FFG could engage targets with an SM-2 operating in ‘mid-course guidance’ mode,” said Paul Del Popolo, NSWC Port Hueneme software development project lead. “It is very satisfying to see all the hard work the team has put into the project over the last few years, come together so nicely in achieving the objective.

The primary benefit of mid-course guidance mode is that it allows the SM-2 to fly silently without having to provide constant illumination during its trajectory to the point of intercept. This provides the missile a better chance to fly undetected. In addition, this mode also allows for the engagement of threats at much farther ranges than prior to the upgrade.

NSWC Port Hueneme has worked closely with the Royal Australian Navy to deliver a combat-ready missile and associated combat system upgrades, aiding the allied effort to protect national interests at home and abroad. This test event served as a way for NSWC Port Hueneme personnel to assist a U.S. ally in meeting future operational requirements, while aligning with the U.S. Navy maritime strategy goal to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners.
Source: navsea, July 15, 2011;