Thales, already one of Australia’s leading providers of sonar technologies, has now been awarded a design and pre-production contract to upgrade the six COLLINS-class submarines’ sonar systems. Upgrades will be developed for the cylindrical array, flank array and onboard processing systems. The submarines have not received a sonar upgrade since entering service in the mid-1990s.

In an internationally collaborative programme, the legacy cylindrical array will be replaced with a Modular Cylindrical Array (MCA) based on submarine technology developed by Thales teams in the UK and the flank array with the latest generation flank array from Thales teams in France. Over 100 people across the company will be involved in the project. Thales will also work with local industry to deliver the upgrades, integrating products from other Australian providers including Sonartech Atlas and L3 Oceania into the solution.

This critical work will support the Commonwealth of Australia in the key decisions on the rollout programme of sonar and wider COLLINS-class upgrades, which will be subject to final government approval in 2018.



Thales will lead an international team to upgrade the sonar arrays and processors for the RAN’s COLLINS-class submarines (Photo: Thales)

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