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Saab contracted to upgrade Australian Army's rocket warning system

By
Allen Cone
Australia's C-RAM served as indirect fire warning system to an air base in Australia since 2010. The radar is mounted atop a Piranha light armored vehicle. Photo courtesy Australian Defense Department
Australia's C-RAM served as indirect fire warning system to an air base in Australia since 2010. The radar is mounted atop a Piranha light armored vehicle. Photo courtesy Australian Defense Department

Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Saab said Thursday it will update equipment for the Australian Army's Wireless Audio Visual Emergency System used to detect incoming rockets, artillery and mortars.

The Swedish company received the order for the C-RAM in December, according to a press release.

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WAVES equipment provides early warning audible and visual alerts when the C-RAM sensors detect and identify an incoming threat from an exclusion zone.

The C-RAM, which includes multiple sensors, C2 nodes and warning systems, is built around Saab's Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam radar, which can detect a range of incoming threats, from mortar and artillery rounds and rockets to small drones and fast-moving aircraft.

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"This contract ensures that the Australian Army can continue to deploy world-leading technology to help protect Australian bases and personnel," said Andy Keough, managing director of Saab Australia. "The contract also demonstrates Saab's strong commitment to build and maintain in-country support capabilities."

In 2015, Saab signed an $18.7 million contract to supply the Australian Defense Force with C-RAM support for four years, with options to continue through 2024. That contract followed the 2010 procurement of Saab's Giraffe AMB and Giraffe Training System Mission Systems to support Australian troops during Operation Slipper in Afghanistan.

"This is further proof of Saab's strong position as a C-RAM worldwide supplier with the Giraffe AMB as the surface radar system of choice for a number of customers worldwide, including Australia, United Kingdom, Sweden and France," Anders Carp, head of Saab AB's business area surveillance, said in a statement.

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The U.S. Army's C-RAM, which is part of the Land-based Phalanx Weapon System, is produced by Raytheon Missile Systems.

The C-RAM Intercept LPWS capability is credited with more than 375 successful intercepts of rockets and mortar rounds fired at high-value theater assets, with no fratricides or collateral damage, according to the U.S. Army.

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