Selex Elsag wins RN MARS communications system award
Selex Elsag has been issued a contract by South Korean shipbuilders, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), to supply a suite of communication systems for the Royal Navy's (RN’s) Military Afloat Reach & Sustainability (MARS) tanker programme. Details of the contract were released on 26 September.
The systems will be installed on four new logistic support vessels to be built in South Korea by DSME and operated by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).
According to the company, the MARS communications system has been designed to make optimal use of commercial and military systems already proven on other defence programmes, with a number of systems deployed on the RN Type 45 Destroyer to be adapted cost-effectively to meet the needs of the MARS tankers. This includes Selex Elsag’s Communications Management System, which provides for central configuration and control of communications assets.
The IP communications technology will form the backbone of the communications system, developed from the company’s Sentinel system, which is now deployed on the UK MoD’s Falcon land communications system. The MARS Identification Friend-or-Foe solution is based on that being supplied by Selex Elsag for the RN Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. The messaging system uses the company’s MPS2000 system deployed on most RN naval vessels.
Selex Elsag is also providing topside electromagnetic modelling to optimise the placement of antennas for reliable communications and safe operations. Other key elements include the HF, VHF and UHF radio systems, tactical data links and a suite of audio visual recreational systems.
The MARS communications system is easy to use and is optimised to support UK maritime operations. It is modular and scalable, facilitating the rapid insertion of additional capability through life. Benefits include fast, flexible assignment of communications circuits and control of equipment characteristics; high levels of automation to reduce operator workload and enable crew multi-rolling; multi-level domain separation for voice, data and management traffic; derived from an in-service system to enable low risk security accreditation; and the maximum use of standards-based solutions to aid scalability, capability insertion and obsolescence management, while exploiting supply chain efficiencies.
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