The companies have agreed to collaborate on the development of uncrewed platforms designed for anti-submarine warfare operations.
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Thales Australia and Ocius Technology have announced the signing of a teaming agreement aimed at advancing the development of a scalable unmanned surface vehicle (USV) capability, designed to perform anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and surveillance operations.
This involves leveraging Ocius Technology’s Blue Sentry autonomous system, made up of a team of Ocius Bluebottle USVs.
The platforms would be integrated with Thales Australia’s new thin line Fibre Optic Towed Array capability, supporting long-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in challenging weather conditions.
The Towed Array capability – designed, developed and manufactured at Thales Australia’s Acoustics Centre of Excellence in NSW – was first deployed on the Collins Class submarine fleet to enable advanced threat detection and classification at sea.
The USV variant of the technology is billed as a miniaturised version of a submarine Fibre Optic Towed Array, enabling autonomous detection, classification and localisation of craft on the surface or below the water, generating acoustic noise or producing acoustic reflections.
The Blue Sentry system’s autonomous detection capabilities are also expected to enable covert communication to allies below the surface using long-range low frequency underwater communications.
This latest teaming agreement builds on a longstanding relationship between Thales Australia and Ocius Technology, which commenced in 2013.
“The detection and classification of modern undersea threats at tactically useful ranges requires a highly optimised balance between the sensor and the platform to ensure success in the most challenging of acoustic environments,” Chris Jenkins, chief executive, Thales Australia and New Zealand, said.
“The specialist teams within Ocius and Thales Australia have worked to bring their respective capabilities together into the Australian designed and manufactured Blue Sentry product and we look forward to taking it into the future.”
Robert Dane, founder and chief executive of Ocius Technology welcomed Thales Australia’s continued support.
“If you can imagine a map of Australia with Blue Sentry Bluebottles scattered about the Exclusive Economic Zone where illegal vessels know if they enter our waters, they will get stung,” he said.
“This is not only Australian sovereign capability, it is the best. This is the quietest and most capable persistent USV platform combined with the best array.”