In a release, Thales Australia said the signing of the MoU is recognition that the Tasmanian precinct will help create local jobs and drive defence-related research and development projects in the state, as well as allowing Thales to establish a sonar testing capability in Tasmania, known for its deep and acoustically quiet lakes.
“The federal government’s $30 million funding to establish the Defence Innovation and Design Precinct in Tasmania reflects the range of smart innovations under development at the Australian Maritime College and from SMEs in Tasmania,” Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said.
“Thales’ presence at the precinct aims to encourage the development of new technologies and capabilities, including a sovereign acoustic testing capability for the next generation of Australian sonar technology, enhancing the capability of Australian submarine and surface ships over the decades ahead.”
The Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman, welcomed the announcement.
“This MoU between international defence powerhouse Thales Australia and the Australian Maritime College is a major step towards realising Tasmania’s new Maritime Defence Innovation and Design Precinct and will be a game changer in cementing our place in the national defence sector,” Premier Hodgman said.
Vice-chancellor of the University of Tasmania, Rufus Black, echoed the excitement of Tasmania’s Premier.
“The University of Tasmania, through its flagship institute, the Australian Maritime College, is delighted to be working with Thales Australia. Thales’ commitment to world-class research and development in the maritime domain, particularly through its work to develop world leading sonar systems for the Royal Australian Navy, is a fantastic example of academia and industry working together to support our national sovereign capability,” Black said.