Saab Australia and ThayerMahan announce partnership: Saab Australia has partnered with leading United States autonomous maritime and undersea surveillance company, ThayerMahan, to explore opportunities to strengthen Australia’s sovereign undersea warfare capabilities. Saab Australia Managing Director, Andy Keough said the demand for undersea surveillance systems in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region had grown significantly in recent years. “The partnership brings together Saab’s sovereign system integration expertise and autonomous maritime capabilities with ThayerMahan’s world-leading autonomous underwater surveillance technology. This is an exciting partnership that will accelerate the integration of proven robotic and autonomous systems with surveillance capabilities that enable persistent underwater surveillance to protect Australia’s seas, underwater assets and borders.” ThayerMahan is a global leader in undersea operations and engineering that harnesses acoustic and oceanographic science to design and develop modern sensors, platforms, and algorithmic solutions. ThayerMahan’s maritime and undersea domain expertise includes experienced former US Navy submarine commanders, sonar operators, mine warfare specialists, and professional acoustics engineers with deep experience in operations, modelling environments and developing solutions to meet customer requirements.
EOS showcases soluctions for countering air and seaborne threats: Electro Optic Systems (EOS) has unveiled its latest ground-breaking technology for countering air and seaborne threats at INDO PACIFIC 2023 International Maritime Exposition. EOS has lunched its laser Dazzler, a silent, non-ballistic countermeasure against uncrewed aerial and seaborne threats, which was showcased integrated with the company’s heavy-hitting R800 remote weapon system (RWS). Described as “Slinger’s big brother”, the R800 sets a new standard in multi-dimensional threat response. Vice President Sales and Business Development for EOS Defence Systems, Mr Scott Hicks, said that the introduction of the Dazzler, as part of the R800’s capability set, heralds a significant development in non-ballistic countermeasures. When coupled with the R800’s traditional 30mm cannon and 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, the Dazzler provides operators a flexible range of kinetic and non-kinetic response options against uncrewed aerial and surface vessel threats. The addition of the new optic-dazzling, disabling, and disengaging capability of the Dazzler makes the R800 a formidable solution to counter uncrewed threats. The Dazzler has been designed and developed in Australia specifically for export markets, with a focus on addressing contemporary and emerging uncrewed aerial and surface vessel threats based on lessons learned in recent conflicts, such as Ukraine.
Royal New Zealand Navy LMC turning heads: The Sentinel 1250 Littoral Manoeuvre Craft (LMC) is turning heads at Indo Pacific 2023 and redefining expectations of what a RHIB is capable of. The Matawhā is one of three LMC’s built by Tasmanian manufacturer Sentinel Boats for the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and will be capable of operating from a parent ship when they deploy into operational theatres as well as independently around New Zealand’s coastal waters. Like all Sentinel Boats, the LMC is hand built from High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) – a next generation boat building material that requires no maintenance and, when paired with a cutting-edge design, offers unrivalled speed, manoeuvrability and stability. A unique feature of the LMC is its ability to launch and recover its own 5.3m tender. The vessel can be quickly configured for a range of mission profiles including dive operations, hydrographic survey support and reconnaissance. Sentinel Boats CEO, George McGuire, said the imposing 12.5 metre Matawhā had become a focal point on the floor of the Indo Pacific 2023 expo. “These vessels have redefined what many thought was possible in a RHIB. The versatility, adaptability and performance of the Sentinel family of sea boats is like nothing else in their class,” McGuire said. The three vessel names: Ururoa, Mako and Matawhā were taken from the Māori names for shark species.
Saildrone issued classification for commercial, autonomous, uncrewed vehicle: Saildrone announced that it has received the first-ever classification for an autonomous, uncrewed surface vehicle (USV) from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). The Saildrone Voyager, the mid-class vehicle in Saildrone’s rapidly expanding fleet, is the first-ever commercial USV to receive classification. ABS has been setting rigorous standards for safety and excellence as one of the world’s leading classification organisations and is at the forefront of marine and offshore innovation. Classification is a major milestone for Saildrone, allowing the Voyager to operate in the ports and waters of countries that require vessels to be classed by organisations such as ABS, and demonstrates Saildrone’s commitment to safety, standardisation, and reliability in its technology and operations. The Voyager carries a payload for coastal ocean mapping operations, including high-resolution MBES and Innomar SBP systems, and is the only survey USV that can deliver long-duration multibeam mapping surveys meeting the highest industry standards. Its ISR sensor suite includes a smart camera array, digital radar, and sub-surface passive acoustics. Saildrone USVs are equipped with a suite of sensors and instruments, enabling them to collect a wide range of ocean data above and below the sea surface. They are primarily powered by wind and solar energy, making Saildrone USVs an environmentally friendly solution for long-duration ocean data missions.
The Whiskey Project Group and RAFAEL join forces to reshape littoral capabilities: Australian veteran-owned maritime innovator, The Whiskey Project Group (TWPG), and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (RAFAEL), today unveiled a new collaboration that delivers the most advanced reconnaissance and strike watercraft prototype in the world — the Whiskey Bravo – Strike. Designed to conduct offensive fires and precision strike missions against maritime and land targets, this next-generation ‘Whiskey’ tactical watercraft prototype offers unprecedented levels of protection for passengers and crew. The vessel integrates world-leading sensor and surveillance technology including joint all-domain command and control systems (JADC2) for enhanced battlespace awareness. RAFAEL’s Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS), surface-to-surface electro-optic guided missile system adds the required firepower to support all forms of littoral manoeuvre. TWPG watercraft are manufactured and assembled in New South Wales and are recognised globally for their military mission focus and next-generation technology. TWPG recently signed a contract with the United States Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) for an initial supply of vessels for testing and evaluation with the United States Marine Corps. The 11.9m (40ft) Whiskey Bravo – Strike can accommodate twin quad Spike NLOS canister launchers on the rear cargo deck and still have room to carry six fully-equipped operators on shock-attenuating seats amidships plus two crew seated forward at the console.
Ghost Shark program names Australian suppliers: Anduril is announcing partnerships with ten key Australian suppliers who are collaborating on the Ghost Shark program. Through these partnerships, Anduril is building a resilient Australian supply chain as manufacturing of the first prototype accelerates ahead of schedule. The Ghost Shark collaboration uniquely brings together Defence Science and Technology Group’s scientific smarts, Royal Australian Navy’s battlespace prowess and Anduril’s Silicon Valley DNA in a real-time co-development process. The Ghost Shark is designed as a teaming vehicle to enhance the integrated force and interoperability with allies and international partners. Software-driven autonomous systems are a force multiplier for Defence, providing stealth, mass and persistence to cover the vast oceans and littorals that surround Australia. The 10 partners are: Ron Allum Deepsea Services – NSW; Sonardyne – UK and NSW; ACS Australia – VIC; Advanced Navigation – NSW; AMC Search -TAS; Marand – VIC; Microelectronic Technologies – QLD; Matrix Composites – WA; Axiom – SA; Advanced Power Drives – NSW.
Rheinmetall to showcase MASS at INDO PACIFIC: Rheinmetall Defence Australia will proudly display the proven Multi Ammunition Softkill System (MASS) at the Indo Pacific International Maritime Exposition in Sydney from 7-9 November 2023 at the International Convention Centre. Nathan Poyner, Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director said the business would showcase its naval capability including a range of sea mines; anti-ballistic armour plates and specialised models of the Millennium Gun for use with the semi-mobile and static Skynex system and the Skyranger unmanned 35mm gun. The MASS systems ordered by the Royal Australian Navy in May will be assembled at Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s MILVEHCOE centre of excellence for military vehicles. Other Rheinmetall products on display include: ROSY – Rapid Obscuring System for small vessel protection. By rapidly obscuring the line of sight, the ROSY countermeasure system protects vessels from littoral and riverine threats such as small arms fire; RPGs and missiles. Optimised for small vessels it is particularly suitable for patrol vessels; speed boats and attack craft. ROSY can counter multiple threats without reloading. ASTERIA, designed and developed in cooperation with the Italian Navy, satisfies the latest operational requirements in the field of sea mines. The multi-sensor architecture (acoustic, seismic, magnetic, pressure, UEP/ELFE and optic) together with a smart logic make ASTERIA extremely selective and effective against a wide range of targets and extremely resistant against the most modern countermeasure techniques, including Mine Jamming, guarantees the best target kill probability in any environmental scenario. MANTA is a multi-influence shallow water sea mine, designed to be effective against landing crafts and small-mid tonnage vessels. The mine can be laid by surface vessels, helicopters and aircraft. The unique shape, the low target strength and magnetic signature make MANTA very difficult to detect. MURENA is a multi-influence sea mine designed to be effective against a wide range of targets. The mine can be laid by surface vessels, aircraft, submarine (torpedo tube or mine belts). The mine logic is based on a unique analysis of target acoustic, magnetic and pressure sensors and offers the operator an incredible flexibility.