The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) COLLINS-class submarines are to receive significant sonar system upgrades under two contracts, valued at A$23.7 million (€14.9 million), let to Thales Australia, the Department of Defence announced on 29 December.
The contracts cover design and implementation of the Mine and Obstacle Avoidance System (MOAS) and the High Frequency Intercept Array (HFIA) for the submarine fleet. The upgrades will not only enhance the capability of the COLLINS-class boats, will provide a boost to the Australian defence industry.
Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds, indicated that both programmes are important parts of the sonar system upgrade. “Our six COLLINS-class submarines are a highly capable and regionally superior capability that are only halfway through their operational life […] To ensure this capability maintains its edge, we are upgrading and improving its systems including through sonar upgrades […] 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,” she stated.
“Because of this Government’s action, we have a Collins Class submarine that is now exceeding the Royal Australian Navy’s availability requirement.”
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% of work being completed by Australian industry,” added Melissa Price, Minister for Defence Industry. “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."