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Saab Global

9LV combat management system of choice for the modern navy

4 min read

A lethal combat system is essential to achieving Navy’s mission to fight and win at sea. At the heart of the combat system is the combat management system (CMS) which integrates sensor information and provides situational awareness to the war fighter. In today’s environment this technology must be flexible and adaptable to enable rapid integration of new technologies to meet evolving threats.



Saab Australia’s ‘9LV’ CMS, has been the Royal Australian Navy’s combat system of choice for over three decades. 9LV is the core of the combat capability on board the current ANZAC Class frigates and CANBERRA Class Landing Helicopter Docks and will enter into service with the replacement replenishment ships.   Based on the expected life of these platforms the 9LV CMS will therefore be in the Royal Australian Navy’s service for the foreseeable future. 

Saab has built a solid reputation and formidable presence in Australia on the back of 9LV CMS delivery and performance. Thirty years ago the Australian Government selected the 9LV system for the ANZAC Class frigates and in doing so entered into an open collaboration with Saab to build a sovereign defence technology and establish a new high tech industry. “Saab is very proud of the collaborative relationships we have established with the Australian Government, Primes and SME’s to successfully deliver a world-leading capability to the RAN” says Suzanne Birch, Saab Australia’s maritime business development manager.  Key to the success of this project was Saab’s investment in a purpose-built major research and systems development centre in South Australia’s major defence precinct.  Since the initial establishment thirty years ago, Saab Australia has retained its engineering headquarters in Adelaide and now employs close to 400 Australians specialising in systems design, integration and local support.

“Over the last 30 years Saab has worked closely with its Defence and industry partners to continually evolve the 9LV system to meet the unique requirements of the Australian customer.” says Suzanne Birch.  ”9LV has an open-architecture design which allows seamless integration of third party sensors, weapons and systems.  This design methodology, combined with the local expertise of the highly-skilled Saab combat system engineering team, affords the customer the flexibility to select new capability for rapid insertion into the CMS.  Perhaps the most successful example of this has been the integration of the CEA radar into the 9LV system as part the ANZAC Anti-Ship Missile Defence Program” 

The modern combat system integrates a range of ship sensors and weapons to detect, classify, track and defeat threats.  Typical combat system sensors include surveillance radars, passive or active sonars, laser warning receivers, and electro-optic and infra-red systems. Missile and torpedo decoy systems, electronic jammers, chaff and flare dispensers are the most common soft-kill weapons; while missiles, cannons and guns (large 5-inch to 7.6mm machine guns) the most common hard-kill.  Any fire-control radars and laser ranging systems may also be included as part of the weapon system.

“Integration of a range of ship sensors and communication systems with the 9LV CMS delivers a Common Operating Picture to the war fighter to enable informed operational assessments and critical decisions to be made in a timely manner” says Suzanne Birch. 

The 9LV system is not only trusted by the Royal Australian Navy, but many navies around the world.   Today there are more than 200 warships operating with a 9LV combat management system onboard with many more in the pipeline.  From Australia to Thailand, Sweden and beyond, Saab has customers on every continent and is proud to provide local technical and engineering support.

Globally, Saab has established an excellent reputation in naval combat system development and integration, working with dedicated partners and sub-suppliers in almost every aspect of naval warfare.  Saab has proven international success as a combat system integrator for complex frigate programs and is a world leader in gun fire control and ESSM integration.   Saab is the right choice as the Royal Australian Navy’s CMS partner now and into the future. 

Suzanne Birch will be at the Pacific 2017 exposition at the Sydney International Convention Centre 3-5 November to discuss the features and flexibility of 9LV for international delegations in attendance.