• HMAS Gascoyne sails in the waters of Eden Harbour.
    HMAS Gascoyne sails in the waters of Eden Harbour. Defence

Australian company Total Marine Technology (TMT) and French company ECA Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to partner for the RAN’s Sea 1905 Phase 1 - Tranche 1 Program for future Maritime Mine Countermeasures and Military Survey Capability.

TMT and ECA Group, will combine their expertise in the domain of unmanned technologies, say they are already in discussions with other possible Australian partners to further enhance their offer.

The RAN’s Sea 1905 Maritime Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Program was announced in April 2019 to replace the RAN’s four remaining Huon-class Minehunter Coastal (MHC) ships. In January 2021, then-Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds also stated that the new ships would be based on the Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel. The vessels will deploy modular unmanned autonomous systems that will provide them with mine-hunting and military survey capabilities.

The request for tender is expected for the fourth quarter of 2021.

In his From The Source interview with ADM, Chief of Navy Admiral Michael Noonan said that the program schedule of Sea 1905 Phase 1 is well on track: “First pass approval has occurred, second pass approval will be in the third or fourth quarter 2022 with the introduction of capability in 2023/2024 and IOC (initial operational capability) in the backend of 2024”.

Admiral Noonan also shared a figure of $3.3 – $5 billion for the future mine warfare and hydrographic vessels.

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