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Fire control systems for RAN submarines

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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1978. NO. 157/78


The Royal Australian Navy's submarine update program will

achieve a major milestone next Wednesday (October 11) when the

first of eight modern fire control systems will be officially handed

over to the Navy at HMAS Watson in Sydney.

The Minister for Defence, Mr D.J. Killen, announced today

that the first system had been installed at the Submarine Command

Team Trainer at HMAS Watson.

The second of the new systems was scheduled for installation

in the submarine shore support facility at HMAS Platypus by early

1979, and later systems would be installed progressively in the

RAN's Oberon class submarines, commencing with HMAS Oxley in late


Mr Killen said that the new system was one of the most

advanced fitted in submarines anywhere in the world. It was designed

and produced to an initial RAN specification by the librascope Division

of the US Singer Corporation. The total cost of the project was

estimated at $20m at 1978 prices. . :

The acquisition of the submarine fire control systems was

essential to the RAN's submarine update program as it would enable

submarine commanding officers to make full use of two advanced sonars

now being installed, and the new Mark 48 torpedo being acquired for

the Australian Submarine Squadron.

Mr Killen said that the submarine fire control system

embodied "state of the art" technology, It incorporated a powerful

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minicomputer and several micro-processors to provide processing

of data obtained by the submarines' sensors (such as its sonar sets).

The system was designed to determine selection of the best weapon .

or combination of weapons to attack the target, and provide the

submarine commanding officer with other tactical information. ·

Target data was sent automatically to selected weapons. Finally,

the system guided the weapon after launch to its pre-selected

target. . .

The role of the commanding officer in the many complex functions

was to oversee the operation of the system and to make decisions,

such as which targets to attack.

Mr Killen said that the introduction of the SFCS would reduce

from thirteen to three the number of men in the command team for a ·

submarine attack.

At next Wednesday's handing over ceremony at HMAS Watson,

the new submarine fire control system would be accepted on behalf of

the' Navy by Rear Admiral D.W. leach, Chief of Naval Materiel. It

would be. handed over by Mr D.J. Beushausen, Vice-President of .

Librascope Division of the Singer Company.

Representatives of the RAN, the Department of Defence and

various·companies involved in the installation of the system also .

would attend the ceremony.

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Further Enquiries: Mr Noel Tanswell 65 2999 (office hours)

- 48 0476 (after hours)