Saab and American firm ThayerMahan have agreed to collaborate to bolster Australia’s sovereign undersea warfare capabilities.
The Connecticut-based company manufactures scalable long-dwell systems that autonomously detect, classify, and report acoustic data in the maritime environment.
They reportedly use artificial intelligence to provide real-time remote sensing technology, supporting various naval missions.
According to Saab Australia Managing Director Andy Keough, the partnership will allow smooth integration of the company’s maritime systems with ThayerMahan’s autonomous underwater surveillance technology.
“This is an exciting partnership that will accelerate the integration of proven robotic and autonomous systems with surveillance capabilities that enable persistent underwater surveillance to protect Australia’s seas, underwater assets, and borders,” he said.
No specific system was mentioned, but Saab Australia stated the integration would improve the Royal Australian Navy’s situational awareness.
Speaking at the Indo-Pacific Maritime exhibition in Sydney, Keough said Canberra’s recent investment comes as the demand for state-of-the-art undersea systems grows.
It comes amid rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific, where China continues to assert its military power.
For ThayerMahan CEO Michael Connor, the collaboration reflects the companies’ mutual interest in providing “innovative and cost-effective” solutions that can strengthen Australia’s defense deep in the ocean.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Saab to contribute to Australia’s maritime and undersea security capabilities,” he said.
Other Investments in Underwater Capabilities
Apart from tapping Saab and ThayerMahan, Australia has also partnered with the US and the UK on a new nuclear-powered attack submarine.
Royal Australian Navy Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead said the country will invest $3 billion over the next five years to expedite the delivery of the underwater craft.
In April, Canberra also procured a 13-year-old Norwegian commercial vessel to be converted into a military ship to support undersea military operations.