Thales snaps up Collins sub sonar contract

HMAS Rankin

HMAS Rankin

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

Minister Pyne said 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,” Minister 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.

“This is a clear example of our commitment to building and harnessing the innovation potential of Australia’s defence industry, as outlined in the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement,” he said.

This comes on the back of recent news that Thales Australia became a founding member of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC). As a member of the AMGC, Thales is now able to play a pivotal role in influencing the future trajectory of Australian manufacturing and will directly benefit from the Centre’s upcoming Sector Competitiveness Plan.

“The signing of Thales is a positive outcome for the Australian manufacturing industry. Fostering collaboration and connecting our local manufacturing firms and scientific research community with large multinational manufacturers is key to growing the sector and improving our global competitiveness,” said Dr. Jens Goennemann, Managing Director of AMGC.

Membership with the AMGC is designed to unlock mutually beneficial opportunities for its members, linking the ingenuity of Australian SMEs and research institutions into global supply chains while connecting larger multinational manufacturers with local agile and innovative partners.

Through industry collaboration and partnership building, the AMGC aims to transform Australia’s manufacturing sector in order to improve Australia’s competitiveness in global markets.

Thales Australia has also been contracted to produce 1,100 Hawkei  Armoured Personnel Carriers and more than 1,000 companion trailers for the Australian Defence Force.