A contract has been signed with Thales UK, through Lockheed Martin Australia, for the design of the Attack class outboard flank array.
The outboard flank array forms part of the Sonar Subsystem, which is used when the submarine is submerged.
This vital piece of equipment acts as the submarine’s eyes and ears, providing situational awareness for the crew.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the design of the outboard flank array is vital to the operational effectiveness of the Attack class submarine and its regional superiority.
“Thales is a global leader in underwater systems and the world’s top exporter of sonars and related systems for naval forces. This contract builds on the work Defence already has with Thales to upgrade the sonar suite of the Collins fleet,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Following a competitive tendering process, Thales is committed to establishing the Australian industrial capability needed to support the sovereign build, operation and sustainment of the Attack class submarine.
Thales UK says it will support and promote Australian Industry Capability by conducting a proportion of the design phase in Australia by engaging one of three Australian based companies, Thales Australia, Babcock Australia, and BMT Group, through a competitive process.
It also says it will leverage existing in-country capabilities that support other assets, including the Collins class submarine, for the assembly, integration and sustainment phases; and it says it will develop an industry development package for the transfer of industrial capability to Australia to enable the provision of critical sub-assemblies and line replaceable units for both initial supply and sustainment.
Following the successful completion of the design phase, further work will be contracted for the manufacture of the subsystem from 2023.