The Royal Australian Navy’s latest upgrade of the Mark 15 Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) has reached a major milestone – achieving initial operating capability.
CAPTION: Mark 15 Block 1B Baseline 2 Phalanx close-in weapon system on HMAS Sydney. Cropped from photo by Able Seaman Benjamin Ricketts.
Delivered on schedule, the upgraded capability is being progressively rolled out until late 2023 across Navy’s destroyers, amphibious ships and new Supply-class tankers.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the upgraded system would deliver improved lethality and a broader range of protection for Navy ships in fast-moving combat situations.
“The first system, which incorporates the upgrade to Block 1B Baseline 2 of the Phalanx system, has already been installed into HMAS Sydney, which will ensure she enters service as Australia’s most potent and capable warship,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The system significantly boosts HMAS Sydney’s self-defence capability, providing new-generation technology to Navy vessels and ensuring the highest levels of protection from modern systems.
“Achieving this important milestone reflects Australia’s world-class shipbuilding capability.”
The second unit of the upgraded system was delivered in 2019 and will be used to provide comprehensive training in Australia, supported by local industry and increasing self-reliance in the training pipeline.
Each Phalanx system costs about $20million, not counting installation costs, accessories, training, ammunition etc etc.