BAE completes LHD test site

July 15, 2011 at 9:13 AM
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Australia, July 15 (UPI) -- The Land-Based Test Site at BAE Systems in Williamstown, Australia, for the Landing Helicopter Dock project is complete.

BAE Systems, Saab and L-3 Communications completed the installation as a key milestone in the development of the integrated combat and communications systems.

Testing in the LBTS will start immediately with final testing concluding next year.

"The major activity of the test site is risk mitigation of equipment integration prior to installation on the ship," Director BAE Systems Maritime Business Unit Harry Bradford said. "The equipment will undergo significant testing to ensure all systems, including those supplied by several sensor manufacturers, are properly integrated and working effectively.

"The Line Replaceable Units installed in the Land-Based Test Site are to be installed on the second LHD with the first ship receiving new equipment.

"While not fully operational, we are seeing real benefits from the test site as the team has discovered some issues that will require system modification and these are much less costly when uncovered early in the program," he said.

L-3 has supplied a large and complex communications suite while Saab has installed the Combat Direction System, which will provide the core command-and-control system for the ship.

The CDS is based on a derivative of Saab's latest 9LV Mk 3E Combat Management System implemented on the ANZAC-class frigates, with added capability for helicopter and watercraft control for the LHD's amphibious warfare roles.

Design work began on the test site in 2008 with outfitting and installation of equipment having commenced in the latter half of last year. The first ship is to arrive in August 2012.

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