Navy’s Collins-class submarines will undergo significant upgrades to their sonar systems here in Australia through a multi-million dollar contract with Thales Australia.
FILE PHOTO: Collins-class submarines HMAS Collins, HMAS Farncomb, HMAS Dechaineux and HMAS Sheean transition through Cockburn Sound, Western Australia. Photo by Lieutenant Chris Prescott.
Two contracts, worth around $23.7 million, are for the design and implementation of the Mine and Obstacle Avoidance System and the High Frequency Intercept Array for the submarine fleet.
The upgrades will not only enhance the capability of the Collins-class fleet but will provide a boost to Australian Defence industry and support Australian jobs.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said both the Mine and Obstacle Avoidance System and High Frequency Intercept Array were important parts of the upgrades to the Collins sonar system.
“Our six Collins-class submarines are a highly capable and regionally superior capability that are only halfway through their operational life,” Minister Reynolds said.
“To ensure this capability maintains its edge, we are upgrading and improving its systems including through sonar upgrades.
“The purpose of a Mine and Obstacle Avoidance System is to acoustically detect obstacles, including mines, which pose a threat to the submarine.
“The High Frequency Intercept Array detects high frequency noises including sonar transmissions.
“With more than 20 years of investment in Australia by Thales and Defence, these upgrades will complement broader improvements to the sonar capability of the Collins-class, ensuring the regional superiority of the fleet into the future.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said Thales had extensive experience working on the Collins fleet and other Australian-based companies would be engaged throughout the contracts.
“These contracts will include about 80 per cent of work being completed by Australian industry,” Minister Price said.
“We can expect these contracts to support 30 new jobs with Thales Australia in Rydalmere, NSW, and additional jobs along the supply chain – jobs that will continue throughout the contracts.”