Australia orders new anti-ship missile test simulator

The Royal Australian Navy has awarded BAE Systems Australia a $32 million, three year contract to provide an improved anti-ship missile test capability.

Under the contract, BAE Systems will deliver the Future Advanced Threat Simulator (FATS), an airborne radar system designed to closely emulate the in-flight behaviour of a range of anti-ship missiles.

It has been designed to provide a test and evaluation and fleet training capability to assist with the development of advanced maritime self-protection concepts for the RAN. BAE Systems will design, develop, manufacture, test and deliver the FATS capability suite.

According to the company, work on the project will start this month and will support 20 specialist engineering roles at the company’s Edinburgh Parks facility.

In its flight mode, the FATS is configured in an underwing pod and flown against the target ship at low altitude from a Defence contracted Learjet carriage aircraft. This enables the FATS to simulate the flight profile of a sea-skimming anti-ship missile whilst also closely emulating the behaviour of the missile’s seeker. The ship’s crew and its self defence systems are exercised as the ship performs actions aimed at defeating the incoming missile.

The FATS is a third generation technology that builds on BAE Systems’ existing capabilities which include the Generic Threat Simulator and Airborne Millimeter-wave Stimulator (AMS).