|INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE REVIEW - SEPTEMBER 01, 2005
Active advances made in Australia
Australia's CEA Technologies is promoting its indigenously developed active phased-array radar technology for naval surveillance and missile-guidance applications. Richard Scott reports.
A pending decision from Australia's Department of Defence could mark a
significant breakthrough for active phased-array radar technology developed by CEA Technologies Pty Ltd over the past decade.
The company's CEA-FAR radar is under consideration for the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) eight ANZAC-class frigates and, following successful at-sea demonstrations during 2004, CEA's management is today cautiously confident that its solution has won the backing of the relevant customer and acquisition communities.
If the selection of CEA-FAR for ANZAC ASMD is endorsed, it would mark the true coming of age for a medium-sized Australian enterprise that traces its corporate heritage back to 1983. Originally created as a specialist radar and communications engineering house servicing the needs of the Australian Defence Force, CEA has since established itself as a niche player in both local and overseas markets in a number of technology areas, including maritime surveillance and vessel traffic management, communications, antenna design, data fusion, phased-array radar and radio-frequency (RF) systems. Headquartered in an industrial suburb of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), with additional facilities in Melbourne, Adelaide and San Diego (the latter to support US operations), the group currently has a combined workforce of just over 200 full-time employees.
With a strong corporate focus on research, design and engineering, CEA has over its brief history championed the demonstration and exploitation of novel component and subsystem technologies as a route to bringing production-engineered high-technology products to market. The company's development of active phased-array radar systems - using electronic beam-forming and scanning processes to dynamically and adaptively co-ordinate the activity of thousands of individual transmit/receive elements across an array face - for military, security and civil applications across land, sea and air has been very much shaped in this mould.