The Australian Maritime College (AMC), at
the University of
Tasmania (UTAS), signed an agreement with Thales Australia and AMOG
Consulting to co-develop a facility that can utilise the deepwater lakes of
northern Tasmania in order to test the next generation of Australian submarine
and surface ship sonar systems.
According to the report
made by UTAS, the AMC has partnered with international defence giant Thales to
investigate establishing a trials and test facility for naval sonar systems in
UTAS Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Professor Brigid Heywood commented that this development is significant in
expanding the strong relationships with Thales and AMOG, which have contributed
to a number of projects linked to the technical design of submarines and their
He added that this is an exciting new
chapter in the Tasmanian Defence story as the proposed new facilities will
bring industry, government and universities together in a strong collaborative
R & D relationship to progress Australia’s unique hydrodynamic testing
facilities and provide leadership in a global context.
Moreover, the University’s Defence Network
was designed to foster collaborative models of working, which bring SMEs and
major defence contractors together with government and the University’s defence
research capability to advance the A$90 billion national shipbuilding program.
AMC Associate Professor Michael Woodward
said the college had a strong reputation for partnering with industry to
provide innovative research solutions in a maritime context.
He explained that AMC has a critical mass
of technical expertise and physical research facilities in hydrodynamic
experimentation, while Tasmania is blessed with deep and isolated lakes that
are ideally suited for a scale of testing that is yet to be explored globally.
He furthered that bringing both together
presents a unique opportunity to develop a new and unique experimental testing
capability, with the potential to attract further investment and industry
collaborations to build Australia’s naval research and development
Thales Australia CEO Mr Chris Jenkins said
the initiative was part of the organisation’s commitment to work collaboratively
with leading Australian SMEs and universities to deliver high-technology,
leading-edge solutions for the Department of Defence.
He explained that Thales has worked with
AMC and AMOG Consulting on a number of sonar trials activities, and with the
Australian Government’s historic recapitalisation of the Royal Australian Navy,
now is the time to investigate establishing a permanent facility.
ARC Research Training Centre for Naval
Design and Manufacturing (RTCNDM) Director Jonathan Binns welcomed the opportunity
to further AMC and the University of Tasmania’s strategic alliance with Thales
He explained that Thales is a founding
member of the research training centre, and this new agreement will build upon
the centre’s work in understanding the hydroacoustics and hydrodynamics of
sonar systems, such as how noise travels through water and how water moves
around an object like a submarine hull or ship’s propeller.
He added that this collaboration with
Thales will allow them to undertake cutting-edge research that will ultimately
feed into the design, manufacturing and sustainment of Australia’s next
generation of naval vessels.
He concluded that co-investment in
infrastructure, such as this, connects to University plans to grow its
contribution to defence through focused investment in capabilities and scale
across its network with a Defence Innovation and Design Precinct as its