Australian businesses will soon have the opportunity to tender for work on new maritime underwater tracking ranges to be built in Western Australia.

The project will replace the original tracking range that was developed for testing the Collins-class submarines with a new deep water tracking range and a shallow water tracking range. 

It will also deliver a deployable tracking range, which will be tested in the same area but will be capable of being deployed in deep and shallow water in multiple locations. 

CASG’s Director General Combat Management and Payload Systems Commodore Darron Kavanagh said Defence would undertake an open-tender process to identify industry partners to deliver the vital high-technology capability.

“There will be many opportunities for Australian industry to help provide Defence with a flexible, integrated surface and underwater tracking range capability,” Commodore Kavanagh said.

“This is an important sovereign capability that will provide Defence with vital information on the performance of its maritime warfare assets while creating longer term opportunities for industry. 

“This includes Australian academia and the research and innovation sectors to develop advanced signal processing and anti-submarine and unmanned system capabilities in this country.”

Commodore Kavanagh said once completed the ranges would provide Defence with the capability to conduct exercises in deep ocean waters and littoral waters, involving surface and sub-surface assets simultaneously. 

“The ranges will be instrumental in supporting the testing and acceptance into service of future platforms being delivered through the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise,” he said. 

“They will enhance our tactical warfighting knowledge by strengthening our understanding of the most effective way to use our submarines and other maritime warfighting assets against a potential adversary.

“I look forward to working closely with Australian industry in the development and construction of this range, which will be important in enabling our Navy to operate with superiority when defending Australia’s national interests.” 

Information about the tender process will be released through Austender by late January 2021.