Defence is set to undertake an open-tender process to identify industry partners to support the development of new underwater tracking ranges in Western Australia.
The project aims to replace the original tracking range that was developed for testing the Collins-Class submarines, with a new deep and shallow water tracking range.
The successful candidate would also support the delivery of a deployable tracking range, tested in Western Australia but deployed across multiple locations.
“There will be many opportunities for Australian industry to help provide Defence with a flexible, integrated surface and underwater tracking range capability,” the Capability, Acquisitions, and Sustainment Group’s (CASG) director general, combat management and payload systems, Commodore Darron Kavanagh, said.
“This is an important sovereign capability that will provide Defence with vital information on the performance of its maritime warfare assets while creating longer term opportunities for industry.
“This includes Australian academia and the research and innovation sectors to develop advance signal processing and anti-submarine and unmanned system capabilities in this country.”
CDRE Kavanagh added that upon completion of the project, the ranges would provide Defence with the capability to conduct exercises in deep ocean waters and littoral waters, involving surface and sub-surface assets simultaneously.
“The ranges will be instrumental in supporting the testing and acceptance into service of future platforms being delivered through the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise,” he said.
“They will enhance our tactical warfighting knowledge by strengthening our understanding of the most effective way to use our submarines and other maritime warfighting assets against a potential adversary.
“I look forward to working closely with Australian industry in the development and construction of this range, which will be important in enabling our Navy to operate with superiority when defending Australia’s national interests.”
Defence is expected to provide further information about the tender process in late January 2021.