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Australian Navy Collins-class submarines to be upgraded with new Thales sonar systems


According to a Tweet published by the Australian Minister of Defense Linda Reynolds on December 28, 2020, Australia will invest $23.7 million to upgrade the sonar systems of the Collins-class submarines of the Australian Navy. Thales Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia (CoA) have signed a contract to deliver these next-generation systems on the Collins-class submarines.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Australian Navy Collins-class diesel-electric powered submarine. (Picture source Australian Navy)


The Collins-class is a series of six Australian-built diesel-electric powered submarines in service with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Australia’s Collins Class submarines will increase their operational effectiveness in hazardous, shallow waters through the delivery of sovereign Mine and Obstacle Avoidance Sonar (MOAS) and High Frequency Intercept Array (HFIA) systems developed by Thales Australia.

The Heron MOAS is an Australian designed and developed system and the result of more than 20 years of investment in Australia by Thales, the RAN and Defence Science and Technology to develop sonar systems tailored to Navy’s unique operating requirements. The Herron system provides enhanced detection, coupled with a low false alarm rate, against dangers ranging from small mine-like objects to reefs, shoals, and hazardous objects like displaced shipping containers.

The first Collins-class submarine was launched on 28 August 1993 and commissioned in Adelaide on 27 July 1996. The submarine has been developed from five generations of submarines designed and built by the Swedish Navy.

The Colins-class submarine features a high-performance hull form, highly automated controls, low indiscretion rates, high shock resistance, optimal noise suppression and an efficient weapons handling and discharge system.

The Collins-class submarine is powered by three Hedemora/Garden Island Type V18B/14 diesel engines, three Jeumont Schneider 1,400kW 440V DC generators, and one MacTaggart Scott DM 43006 hydraulic motor for emergency propulsion. She has a surface speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) and 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph) in submerged conditions.

The Collins-class submarine is fitted with six 21-inch (530 mm) torpedo tubes and can carry 22 torpedoes including Mark 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedoes and UGM-84C Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles.