Australia’s Collins Class submarines will gain enhanced mine and obstacle avoidance capability under a contract signed between Thales Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia.
The Australian designed and developed technology is tailored to the unique requirements of the Royal Australian Navy with optimised operational capability in warm shallow water.
This contract expands upon the ongoing sonar upgrade of the Collins Class being rolled out to the fleet which includes a full replacement of the prime sonar arrays of the submarine.
Australia’s Collins Class submarines will increase their operational effectiveness in hazardous, shallow waters through the delivery of sovereign Mine and Obstacle Avoidance Sonar (MOAS) and High Frequency Intercept Array (HFIA) systems.
Thales Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia (CoA) have signed a $23.7M contract to deliver these next generation systems on the Collins Class Submarines.
The Heron MOAS is an Australian designed and developed system and the result of more than 20 years of investment in Australia by Thales, the RAN and Defence Science and Technology to develop sonar systems tailored to Navy’s unique operating requirements.
Mine and obstacle avoidance capability is critical to sustain naval operations due to the rapidly evolving threat of mines, as well as other navigational hazards in the shallow, poorly charted waters that are prevalent throughout Australia's maritime region.
The Herron system provides enhanced detection, coupled with a low false alarm rate, against dangers ranging from small mine-like objects to reefs, shoals, and hazardous objects like displaced shipping containers.
The High Frequency Intercept Array (HFIA) will enhance the submarine’s ability to detect high frequency emissions like sonars, and emerging undersea threats.
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said that these new systems will achieve more than 80% Australian Industry Capability and additional export opportunities.
“These advanced systems are designed, developed, integrated and sustained in Australia. Enhancing our world leading sovereign industrial capability in sonar systems.
“Together, these contracts will support approximately 30 jobs at our Rydalmere site in western Sydney and additional jobs with our supply chain partners.
Thales Australia Underwater Systems Vice President, Troy Stephen said the Heron MOAS will give our submarines the tools they need to remain safe within a mine threat area.
“We will be working with a great team of Australian supply chain partners and the proven capability of the Underwater Systems team in France to deliver this capability to the Royal Australian Navy”.
About Thales in Australia
Thales Australia is a trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management and ground transport systems to security systems and services. Thales Australia employs around 3,800 people directly and supports over 1,700 job along its Australian supply chain. In 2019 Thales Australia spent $522 million with 1,362 Australia suppliers, of which 70% are SMEs.
Thales Australia has a history of patient investment to build advanced in-country capability across manufacturing, critical systems and services. Close collaborative relationships with local customers, Australian SME suppliers and research institutions combined with technology transfer from our global business enables Thales to tailor high quality solutions for Australian and export markets, generating revenue of $1.6 billion in exports over the past 10 years.
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global high technology leader investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations –connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technology – to build a future we can all trust, which is vital to the development of our societies. The company provides solutions, services and products that help its customers –businesses, organisations and states – in the defence, aeronautics, space, transportation and digital identity and security markets to fulfil their critical missions, by placing humans at the heart of the decision-making process.
With 83,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2019 (on a basis including Gemalto over 12 months).