Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has announced an $11 million acquisition of the new Saab AUV62-AT, Intermediate Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Target, which will enhance Australia’s anti-submarine warfighting capabilities.
Minister Reynolds highlighted that the Royal Australian Navy will partner with Saab Australia to bring the new capability into service, providing opportunities for local industry to contribute to the project.
Saab's AUV62-AT is flexible, adaptable and can operate in several different modes, enabling it to comply with various sets of training regulations. It can generate realistic submarine noises and echoes, which are transmitted at a precise target strength and over clearly defined distances.
The payload module of the AUV62-AT includes a transducer tail, which mirrors the physical properties of a submarine so as to provide realistic training, including ASW torpedo firing. The tail incorporates transmitting and receiving transducers, so that training personnel can perform onboard analysis of the location of active sonars or attacking torpedoes.
Minister Reynolds said, "This advanced technology training target will simulate submarines and torpedos, providing highly realistic live training scenarios for submariners, aviators and surface vessel combat teams."
Designed to simulate a library of threats, and compatible with torpedoes and sonar systems used by the majority of navies, the AUV62-AT is intended to develop operator and command team training at all levels. It also enables sonar and command system evaluation, and can train and evaluate an entire ASW force.
The AUV62-AT can replicate a range of submarines, both friend and foe, so that all personnel can maximise their training opportunities. The system has the flexibility to operate in exercises at any location, and can be launched and recovered from a ship, submarine or the shore.
The system can be retrieved independent of its deployment method if desirable. When operated from a ship, a custom-designed docking device is used for launch and recovery. The AUV62-AT is capable of deceiving any torpedo homing system, and the tail system provides forces with a highly qualified tactical training target.
"In the 2020 Force Structure Plan announced by the Prime Minister and I on July 1, we have set out plans to enhance our regional anti-submarine warfare capabilities, including the provision of training sub systems. This capability will improve the ADF’s anti-submarine warfare proficiencies for more complex operations and environments," Minister Reynolds added.
Australian companies, including locally-owned BlueZone Group, which has facilities in Newcastle, Perth and Melbourne, will have the opportunity to support and manage the operation, repair and maintenance of the AUV62-AT for Defence.