Thales Australia and Ocius Technologies have entered into a teaming agreement to advance the development and deployment of a scalable Uncrewed Surface Vehicle (USV) capability equipped for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and surveillance missions to protect Australia’s borders.
The Australian designed and manufactured Blue Sentry autonomous systems, comprising a team of Ocius Bluebottle USVs integrated with Thales Australia’s new thin line Fibre Optic Towed Array capability, are deployed from shore to autonomously patrol large areas of Australia’s coastline, performing underwater ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) missions for long periods of time at sea, and in extreme weather conditions.
Missions that would have previously required the deployment of crew for many days to complete will be able to be conducted remotely using the Blue Sentry team of Autonomous Vessels, reducing cost.
Benefitting from more than 35 years of investment in sovereign towed array innovation in Australia by Thales, the Royal Australian Navy and DST Group, traditional Towed Array capability was first deployed on the Collins Class Submarine to enable advanced threat detection and classification at sea.
In both form and function, Thales’s sovereign thin line Fiber Optic Towed Array is a miniaturized version of a submarine Fiber Optic Towed Array, enabling autonomous detection, classification and localisation of craft on the surface or below the water that generate acoustic noise or produce acoustic reflections. The Blue Sentry system’s autonomous detection capabilities also enable covert communication to allies below the surface using long-range low frequency underwater communications. The newly developed thin line Towed Array is designed, developed and manufactured at Thales Australia’s Acoustics Center of Excellence at Rydalmere in New South Wales.