Thales Australia is developing a Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) capability to detect, identify, classify and track potential threats in the maritime environment.
MDA is a critical enabler of Maritime Security, which is of particular relevance and importance for Australia, due to its ocean surrounds and large marine jurisdiction.
While military activities in the maritime domain are more comprehensively monitored, civil maritime security threats are typically more pervasive, covert and difficult to track.
The four pillars of the Australian Government Civil Maritime Security Strategy are: Understand, Influence, Prevent and Respond. The Thales Australia MDA sovereign capability has the potential to play a major part in each of these areas.
Understand: A core component of Thales’s MDA capability is big data analytics; whereby sensor data received from various feeds of terrestrial, and satellite-based earth observation systems, is fused and correlated. The system utilises advanced analytics to create an almost instantaneous picture of the maritime environment.
Influence: The nature of Thales’s capability, coupled with the expansiveness of the marine environment, requires effective collaboration and cooperation between all stakeholders to protect Australia’s maritime domain.
Prevent: Having timely actionable intelligence available to key decision makers, stakeholders and multiple agencies across the system will act as a powerful deterrent to those wishing to carry out nefarious activities close to Australia, and its allies in the region.
Respond: Any suspicious MDA observations are passed to an Intelligent Mission Tasking System (IMTS), which directs on-demand Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) resource and other assets, such as aircraft to carry out more surgical missions. For example, an air asset may be tasked to investigate an area of ocean based on evidence that fishing vessels may be operating illegally in that area.
Max Kufner, Thales Australia’s VP Above Water Systems, said
“This solution will provide our customers with a common operational picture and the actionable intelligence needed to achieve a range of national security, environmental and search and rescue outcomes.”
Thales Australia’s MDA solution, while a commercial capability, is founded in decades of trusted partnership with Defence, and proven delivery of secure, safe and innovative capabilities.