LONDON Gresham Power Electronics (Salisbury, UK) has been awarded a contract worth over £1 million by the Australian Navy.
Gresham has been chosen to supply helicopter starting rectifiers and dc power distribution systems for the new Hobart class air warfare Destroyer (AWD) to be built by the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance.
The Hobart AWD is based on the existing F100 frigate platform designed by Navantia and already in service with the Spanish Navy. It is a baseline design that required minimal modifications for Australian use and employs power systems provided by Gresham.
There are a number of additional requirements and up-rating to cope with some differences in the application. The contract, negotiated on behalf of the AWD Alliance by ASC Shipbuilding, is worth over £1 million and supply will take place over the next three years.
“This is one of the most significant shipbuilding projects to be undertaken in Australia and in these challenging times we are delighted to have been awarded this major contract,” said Jake Moir, Managing Director of Gresham Power Electronics. “It is continuing evidence of the quality and reliability of our world class power conversion and distribution systems as well as our ongoing commitment to produce innovative and cost effective solutions for these challenging defence applications.”
The primary role of an air warfare destroyer (AWD) is to control air, surface and sub-surface environments. To do this, their missions will involve providing air defence for accompanying ships, land forces and nearby coastal infrastructure. Other missions will include collection and evaluation of intelligence, constabulary (law enforcement) operations, assisting in evacuations and diplomatic roles.
Once deployed, an AWD is capable of operating in all weather conditions and can provide a capability to all Australian Defence Force assets. The ships will have a range of approximately 4,000 nautical miles, allowing them to stay out at sea for prolonged periods of time – a crucial element given Australia's geographical location. The ships also have the capability to launch helicopters from their decks.
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