OCCAR press release
In the first days of December 2021, a thunderbolt struck at sea the EMPAR radome, the weatherproof enclosure protecting the rotating radar antenna of the PAAMS system which ensures air defense 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 the 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 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 organized the special convoy transfer of an Italian forces spare radome stored in-box from La Spezia naval base to Toulon naval base.
In parallel, the same OCCAR/FSAF-PAAMS COTS & Services contract permitted OCCAR to engage international skilled experts for reassembling and painting the new radome.
Close interaction was established with the naval base even during staff left to access the lifting and other means for mounting the new radome on top of the highest mast of the frigate.
Finally, despite 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.
“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. 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”.
SSF Director, Guillaume DE GARIDEL