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Australia's Giraffes arrive

The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, inspects the new Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar (CRAM) Giraffe Full Operational Capability System.
The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, inspects the new Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar (CRAM) Giraffe Full Operational Capability System.

New Giraffes are replacing a borrowed one at Tarin Kot, Afghanistan – not as in a variety of wildlife but in the form of some serious life-saving hardware.

Leased from Sweden, the Giraffe 740 is the title of the distinctive Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) radar system that has been providing a reliable indirect fire warning to Multi-National Base Tarin Kot since December 2010.

The system comprised the Giraffe radar, mounted atop a Piranha light armoured vehicle.

The incoming Swedish-designed Australian-owned radar system comprises an armoured truck transporter and has now landed and will complete the Final Operational Capability in Afghanistan for the C-RAM project.

With two Giraffes replacing the old system, Senior C-RAM Watch Keeper, Captain David Petersen said the safety on the base will be further improved.

“The system will provide far greater airspace management, sense, warn and locate capabilities,” he said.

The arrival of the Giraffe radars is one of the last stages of the LAND 19 phase 7A acquisition project.

The Giraffe radars are a Swedish-made system that is considered one of the best radars in the world for the detection of rockets artillery and mortars.

Bombardier Jordan Haskins who managed the everyday functioning of the old system will now oversee its redeployment.

He said that although the radar was designed for the cold weather environments of Europe, it was still reliable in desert conditions.

“Preventative maintenance and TLC was the key to its dependability,” Bombardier Haskins said.

“With two systems in place we will have complementary coverage – it adds to increased safety for all personnel on the ground.”