Sonar upgrades to Australian submarines to be provided by Thales
PARIS, France. Thales engineers will be upgrading Australia’s Collins class submarine sonar systems a design and pre-production contract.
The upgrades will enable improved detection of evolving underwater threats and enhancements to cylindrical and flank arrays, as well as on-board processing.
Thales engineers will leverage modern developments in underwater sensing to replace the Collins arrays, which have not been upgraded since first entering service in the mid-1990s.
The integration work will be perfromed at Thales’s underwater systems facility in Rydalmere, Western Sydney. This effprt will support the Commonwealth of Australia in the key decisions on the rollout program of sonar and wider Collins Class upgrades, which will be subject to final Government approval in 2018.
The Collins’ legacy cylindrical array will be replaced with a Modular Cylindrical Array (MCA) based on submarine technology developed by Thales teams in the United Kingdom. The existing flank array will be replaced by the latest generation flank array from Thales teams in France.
Thales will also work with local industry to deliver the upgrades for the six submarines, integrating products from other Australian providers such as Sonartech Atlas and L3 Oceania into the solution.
The upgrade program follows the company’s 2012 contract with the Department of Defense to update the Collins’ on-board sonar hardware and electronics.