Naval Group wants to produce its CANTO torpedo countermeasures in Australia should this technology be selected by the RAN, and says it has already identified several potential partner companies.
The Future Submarine design and construction partner said in a statement that it welcomed the opportunity to work with Australian industry to develop what it described as “this next generation defence technology”.
“Naval Group has already identified various Australian companies in relation to CANTO countermeasures local manufacturing and in-country maintenance”, the statement said. However, no partnerships or proposals had yet been formalised.
Jean-Martin Hepp, Naval Group’s Marketing and Business Development Manager, pointed out that the French Navy has already selected the CANTO soft-kill decoy system for its surface combatant and nuclear-powered submarine fleets, including the first-of-type Barracuda-class attack submarine launched on 12 July.
CANTO capabilities and technology had already been discussed with the Future Submarine and Future Frigate programs, and in relation to Collins-class submarine and Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) upgrades, he told ADM.
Although there was no official requirement in place at this time, “our vision is to provide one system that can be used on each platform”, he said, confirming that local manufacture would include both the effectors and the launch tubes.
Naval Group says CANTO is unique in the field of anti-torpedo defence, applying a ‘dilution/confusion’ concept that involves generating a high-level, 360-degree acoustic signal as soon as it enters the water, to jam the full frequency range of an attacking torpedo.
CANTO then creates and constantly renews hundreds of false targets, saturating the torpedo’s sonar and data processing capability and ultimately dissipating all the weapon’s energy or fuel supply.
Naval Group says the compact tube launching system can be easily installed both outside the pressure hull on any submarine type, and on surface ships, where CANTO is also compatible with existing deck-mounted 130mm (mortar) decoy launchers - four of which equip each Hobart-class AWD.