Australian Navy submarines to get sonar upgrades

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced that Thales Australia has been awarded a $100 million contract to design a major sonar system upgrade for Collins class submarines.

The minister added that Thales Australia will engage other Australian-based companies including Sonartech Atlas and L3 Oceania, as well as suppliers from the United Kingdom (UK) and France to design the Collins sonar system upgrade.

“The sonar system upgrade will install improved sonar sensor arrays aboard each of the Collins submarines, as well as improved signal processing systems,” Pyne said.

“Under the contract Australian industry will play a key role in delivering leading edge sonar capability for Australian submarines. The Australian industry component of the contract to be led by Thales Australia is worth in the order of $50 million and will support around 50 Australian jobs in Sydney and Perth.”

In a separate announcement, the minister announced $4.9 million of government funding for a project that will seek to develop techniques to counter radio frequency emitters, enabling the Royal Australian Navy to operate in hostile and threatening environments.

Pyne added that BAE Systems Australia has received funding to assist RAN to develop and demonstrate an innovative technology under the project that is known as Cuttlefish.