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US Navy awards minesweeping equipment contract to Thales

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A file photo of US Navy Minesweeper on patrol.

SYDNEY (BNS): US Department of Defense has awarded a follow-on contract to Thales Australia for the procurement of minesweeping equipement for the US Navy's Avenger class Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs).

The contract for four ship sets with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) includes an option for a further three ship sets, and follows several highly successful contracts for Thales minesweeping systems for the US Navy.

"As new mine-related threats emerge, it is vitally important to deploy cutting-edge systems that deliver innovative and flexible capabilities to naval forces on operations. The company is extremely proud to be a part of the US Navy’s capability in this area," Chris Jenkins, Thales Australia’s CEO, was quoted as saying in a news release by Thales group.

The AAG is at the cutting edge of mine countermeasures technology. A water driven, turbine powered acoustic generator that emulates ship noise, it can be integrated with any sweep system. Originally developed by Thales Australia in conjunction with an SME, Adelaidebased Resonance Technology, and with assistance from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, it meets a global need for sophisticated minesweeping products.

Over the past four years Thales Australia has delivered Advanced Acoustic Generators (AAGs), Infrasonic Advanced Acoustic Generators (IAAGs), Sweep Tracker Monitor Systems (STMS), spares and accessories for seven of the 14 Avenger class MCMVs.

The IAAG is the low frequency variant of the AAG and has also been developed by Thales Australia and Resonance Technology. The IAAG fulfils a requirement for an acoustic generator able to produce underwater sound at the high sound pressure levels and low frequencies similar to those produced by large ships.

The STMS is designed for deployment with the AAG and IAAG to provide positional tracking data and to facilitate control of both manned and unmanned operations.

“The AAG gives the US Navy a low maintenance high reliability acoustic generator,” added Andrew Tatem, NSWC PCD project engineer responsible for the installation and commissioning of the acoustic sweep on the Avenger class MCMVs, as reported in the release.

Over the past four years, Thales Australia has delivered Advanced Acoustic Generators (AAGs), Infrasonic Advanced Acoustic Generators (IAAGs), Sweep Tracker Monitor Systems (STMS), spares and accessories for seven of the 14 Avenger class MCMVs.

The defence and aerospace company manufactures and exports minesweeping products to navies throughout the world.

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