Australia to buy $207 Mn SURTASS-E mission systems from US

The US State Department has cleared the potential sale of Surveillance Towed Array SURTASS-E mission systems (Sensor System Expeditionary mission systems) worth $207 Million to the Government of Australia.

The proposed sale will reportedly enhance Canberra’s maritime surveillance capabilities to detect enemy submarines.

Apart from the SURTASS-E mission systems, the Australian government is requesting a shore processing mission system, a spare SURTASS passive acoustic array, communications parts, and necessary support equipment.

Further, it also covers software maintenance, engineering support, training, and logistics support services.

The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin-Syracuse, Syracuse, NY; and Lockheed Martin-Manassas, Manassas, VA. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Noteworthy, the SURTASS-E mission systems to be installed on vessels will reportedly help Australia ensure that it has enough anti-submarine capabilities, considering the large sea area it has to cover.

Besides, the ability to provide acoustic wide area surveillance and generate indications and warnings to Australian commands will significantly improve shared maritime security.

About SURTASS-E mission systems

Following are the general characteristics of the mission system:-

• SURTASS/CLFA is a low-frequency, passive and active, acoustic surveillance system installed on tactical auxiliary general ocean surveillance (T-AGOS) ships as a component of the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System.
• SURTASS provides passive detection of nuclear and diesel submarines and enables real-time reporting of surveillance information to Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) commanders.
• CLFA is a low-frequency, active sonar system developed to provide an active detection capability of quiet submarines operating in environments that support active sonar propagation.
• The system consists of:
– A T-AGOS host ship with array-handling equipment
– A towed vertical string of active acoustic projectors (CLFA)
– A towed horizontal twin line (TL-29A) passive sonar array
– An Integrated Common Processor (ICP) for processing active and passive acoustic data
– A High-Frequency Marine-Mammal Monitoring (HFM3) active sonar used to ensure local water space is free of marine mammals prior to low-frequency active transmission
– A communications segment to provide connectivity to shore-based Integrated Undersea Surveillance System‑processing facilities and to fleet ASW commanders

Specification Source: