Rheinmetall Defence Australia, a key strategic industrial partner to the Australian Defence Force, this year signed a landmark contract for the supply of the Multi Ammunition Softkill System (MASS) to the Royal Australian Navy. Rheinmetall Defence Australia is seeking Australian-based specialised suppliers with expertise in electronics; electrics and artillery for strategic partnerships to produce components for MASS. MASS protects ships and boats from multifaceted threats from anti-ship guided missiles and laser-guided weapons – on the high seas, in littoral waters and on rivers. Offering unique protection against modern sensor-guided missiles in all relevant wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, MASS can be installed on vessels of all sizes and readily integrated into existing shipboard command and weapon engagement systems or operate as a standalone system. In the standard version, MASS consists of up to six trainable launchers, each of which can fire up to 32 Omni Trap decoy munitions.
Nathan Poyner, Managing Director, Rheinmetall Defence Australia, said: “The Royal Australian Navy had ordered the Multi Ammunition Softkill System, or MASS, which will initially be used to equip 12 platforms. Following extensive trials, MASS was selected on account of its unique capabilities. For Rheinmetall, the order represents €125 million in sales. The first systems will be delivered by the end of 2023. This is Rheinmetall’s single-biggest order for ship protection technology and the contract includes an option for equipping Australia’s entire fleet. “The MASS systems ordered by the Royal Australian Navy will be assembled at Rheinmetall’s Centre of Excellence at Redbank in South-East Queensland. This will result in new possibilities for expanding the Group’s Australian supply chain. MASS offers potential partners in the Australian defence sector the chance to cooperate with Rheinmetall and the Royal Australian Navy in realising this important defensive capability.”
Rheinmetall continues to perfect its tried-and-tested MASS family, assuring that in future, ships and their crews will have the best possible protection when operating on the high seas and in coastal waters. This countermeasure system provides a unique level of protection against modern sensor-guided missiles on the high seas and in coastal waters, as well as from asymmetric terrorist-type threats. With the information from on-board sensors and systems, the MASS calculates the best missile defeat solution and, being fully trainable in azimuth and elevation, then fires the decoys and places them in time in the optimal position without the ship having to manoeuvre to obtain an effective countermeasure solution. Fully automatic, it can be integrated into all naval command and control systems, but can also operate in a stand-alone mode. MASS significantly enhances ship survivability through speed of response and the ability to put the required multi-purpose decoy rounds in the precise position necessary for optimum defence.
Other Rheinmetall products on display include:
ROSY – Rapid Obscuring System for small vessel protection. By rapidly obscuring the line of sight, the ROSY countermeasure system protects vessels from littoral and riverine threats such as small arms fire; RPGs and missiles. Optimised for small vessels it is particularly suitable for patrol vessels; speed boats and attack craft. ROSY can counter multiple threats without reloading.
ASTERIA, designed and developed in cooperation with the Italian Navy, satisfies the latest operational requirements in the field of sea mines. The multi-sensor architecture (acoustic, seismic, magnetic, pressure, UEP/ELFE and optic) together with a smart logic make ASTERIA extremely selective and effective against a wide range of targets and extremely resistant against the most modern countermeasure techniques, including Mine Jamming, guarantees the best target kill probability in any environmental scenario. By means of a special bi-directional acoustic link, it is possible to remote control the mine in total safety, improving the flexibility of use to defend harbours, straits and ports. ASTERIA can be laid by surface vessels and submarines. The training variant of ASTERIA is complemented by a set of accessories specifically designed to facilitate the remote control and data gathering during sea trials.
MANTA is a multi-influence shallow water sea mine, designed to be effective against landing crafts and small-mid tonnage vessels. The mine can be laid by surface vessels, helicopters and aircraft. The unique shape, the low target strength and magnetic signature make MANTA very difficult to detect.
MURENA is a multi-influence sea mine designed to be effective against a wide range of targets. The mine can be laid by surface vessels, aircraft, submarine (torpedo tube or mine belts). The mine logic is based on a unique analysis of target acoustic, magnetic and pressure sensors and offers the operator an incredible flexibility.