Exchange programs and industry collaboration key to upgrades

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Alex Lo (author), LSIS Jarrod Mulvihill (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), Fleet Support Unit - South East, Nulka active missile decoy

Fleet Support Unit - South East sailors and officers with BAE Systems staff surround the upgraded Advanced Stabilised Glide Slope Indicator on the flight deck onboard HMAS Adelaide. (photo: LSIS Jarrod Mulvihill)
Fleet Support Unit - South East sailors and officers with BAE Systems staff surround the upgraded Advanced Stabilised Glide Slope Indicator on the flight deck onboard HMAS Adelaide.

Industry collaboration and knowledge gained while on exchange with the United States Navy have secured important self-defence and aviation capability upgrades for HMAS Adelaide.

The Royal Australian Navy’s largest ship was due to have its Nulka Decoy System and the Advanced Stabilised Glide Slope Indicator upgraded by the team at BAE Systems Australia when travel restrictions were implemented, de-mobilising BAE’s Melbourne-based team.

Nulka is an Australian designed and developed active missile decoy system, designed to seduce anti-ship missiles away from their targets. The Advanced Stabilised Glide Slope Indicator provides helicopter pilots with stabilised visual information to guide helicopters to the vessel at sea and at the correct approach angle.

Pulling together to adapt to the situation, the Fire Control and Weapons Work Centres within Fleet Support Unit - South East, BAE, Naval Ship Management, IKAD Engineering, and Marine Technicians Australia utilised Remote Technology Assist and other means to find efficient ways to collaborate and work towards successfully achieving the capability milestones.

For the team at Fleet Support Unit - South East, combat systems alignment was a challenge they had not faced before, but one they were able to deliver on due to the skills two personnel had gained during a recent two year training posting with the United States Navy at the Southwest Regional Maintenance Centre in San Diego.

Chief Petty Officer Electronics Technician Lorne Bramley said it was a great opportunity to put into practice the new skillsets they had obtained.

“During our personnel exchange programs in San Diego we developed skills in combat systems alignment, which the United States Navy does really well,” Chief Petty Officer Lorne Bramley said.

“When the contracting team couldn’t mobilise, it provided an opportunity for us to fully utilise those skills and embed our knowledge and experience within our workforce.”

With many challenges encountered throughout the project, the combined collaboration with industry partners, along with excellent leadership, perserverance and professionalism, the team was able to overcome those challenges and achieve a successful outcome.

The Weapons Engineering Manager at Fleet Support Unit - South East, Warrant Officer Electronics Technician Saul McLean, said the challenge created an opportunity for Navy and Industry to look at how they can work in partnership more efficiently in the future.

“This joint venture project has proven that there are options moving forward for Navy and Industry to better demonstrate how we communicate and what skill sets are available and can be shared,” Warrant Officer McLean said.

“This has been important for Navy as we continually advance our technological and people capabilities, and continue to build relationships with Industry to deliver timely outcomes for our Fleet units.”

Fleet Support Unit - South East sailors with BAE Systems, NSM, IKAD and MTA contractors in front of the newly installed Nulka Decoy System on the Quarterdeck of HMAS Adelaide.

Fleet Support Unit - South East sailors with BAE Systems, NSM, IKAD and MTA contractors in front of the newly installed Nulka Decoy System on the Quarterdeck of HMAS Adelaide.