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Two Australian firms win submarine sub-contracts

Artist’s impression of the RAN’s new ATTACK class submarine, to be built in Adelaide by Naval Group. Search and Attack mast supplier SAFRAN has signed two sub-contracts with Australian specialist suppliers. Image: Naval Group Australia

Sydney-based SAFRAN Electronics & Defense Australasia has signed sub-contracts with two Australian companies. Adelaide-based Acacia Systems and Western-Sydney based Thomas Global Systems will design critical sub-systems for the Optronics Search and Attack masts, Navigation Radar and Navigation Data Distribution systems for the Navy’s new ATTACK class submarines.

SAFRAN was awarded the sub-contracts to design the masts, navigation radar and navigation data distribution systems by prime contractor Naval Group Australia in 2019. The company’s CEO, Alexis de Pelleport, said, “The subcontracts with Acacia Systems and Thomas Global Systems will allow us to achieve our shared objective of actively transferring the design of key submarine technology to Australia and supporting local employment. The contracts represent Safran’s confidence in Australian companies to further develop Australia’s sovereign capabilities. They leverage expertise from two companies that have been supporting the Australian Defence Force for many years”.

The contracts will see Acacia Systems deliver prototypes and interface simulators, enabling Lockheed Martin Australia to conduct test activities and validate the integrated performance of the combat system in its Adelaide-based Combat System Architecture Laboratory (CSAL). Thomas Global will carry out the design of processing hardware for the optronics masts, navigation radar and navigation data distribution systems.

Ted Huber, Acacia Systems Chairman and Founder said of the contract, “Acacia has been involved in developing advanced submarine tactical systems and applications for more than two decades. We have supported the OBERON and COLLINS Class submarines over many years and we look forward to applying this expertise to deliver world-class capability for the ATTACK Class”.

Thomas Global Systems CEO Angus Hutchinson said, “Design work is a critical element in the creation of sovereign capability for Australia’s Future Submarine Program and we appreciate Safran’s commitment to working with competitive Australian companies. This contract shows Safran is willing to work towards true sovereignty for our local defence industry.”

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