OCCAR successfully managed a quick replacement of a 5m diameter PAAMS damaged radome
In the first days of December2021, a thunderbolt struck at sea the EMPAR radome, the weatherproof enclosure protecting the rotating radar antenna of the PAAMS system which ensures air defence for FS FORBIN Horizon class destroyers.
The crew immediately carried out an inspection, inside the 5 meters diameter radome located 35 meters above sea and outside through a drone camera. Through SSF and OCCAR, the Horizon crew requested industrial design authority’s position about radome reparability even if PAAMS was still operative. This part of the activity was managed through the FR/IT/UK In Service Support contract placed by OCCAR in 2018 in a tri-national cooperation on behalf of Marine Nationale, Marina Militare and the Royal Navy.
After different experts’ appraisals (AIA Cuers, LEONARDO & IPS/PRS), OCCAR & SSF decided to try to replace the radome before mid-January 2022 and TF473 departure.
To manage the radome replacement in such a tiny period, OCCAR used its best practice management methods to retrieve a Radome and contracted the knowledgeable Industry that could carry out such radome swap before mid-January:
Thanks to SSF & MARICOMLOG cooperation agreement, OCCAR organised the special convoy transfer of an Italian forces spare radome stored in box from La Spezia naval base to Toulon naval base;
 European Multiphase Array Radar.
 Principal Anti-Air Missile System.
 Service de Soutien de la Flotte.
 Atelier Industriel de l’Aéronautique.
 IPS/Polish Radome Services (PRS).
 Commando logistico della Marina Militare.
In parallel, the same OCCAR/FSAF-PAAMS COTS & Services contract permitted OCCAR to engage international skilled experts for reassembling and painting the new radome;
 Commercial Off The Shelf.
Close interaction was established with the naval base even during staff leave to access the lifting and other means for mounting the new radome on top of the highest mast of the frigate.
Finally, despite of COVID constraints and the Christmas break, the activity was fully completed on Saturday 15th January 2022 and the PAAMS system was declared fully operational less than 1 month after the lightning strike without impact on the participation of the frigate to the Task Force 473 deployment alongside with the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.
SSF Director, Guillaume DE GARIDEL, summed up these sensitive activities: “I congratulate MARICOMLOG for lending the available new radome they had in stock, as well as OCCAR’s professionalism for the management of this radome replacement that has been achieved very efficiently in a short period of time, despite COVID-19 constraints and Christmas break”. The General Armaments Engineer added: “This has been made possible thanks to OCCAR/FSAF-PAAMS flexibility & reactiveness in this case, together with our high cooperation level & mutual trust with MARICOMLOG, involving a state-of-art European Company (PRS) to perform the replacement”.
If you want to learn more about the FSAF-PAAMS programme, please visit our website.