L3Harris wins major Australian underwater tracking deal

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has awarded L3Harris Technologies an A$328 million contract to deliver new underwater sensors that will improve the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)’s underwater tracking capabilities, the company announced on 20 September.

The contract is being provisioned for under the DoD’s SEA1350 Phase 3 Maritime Underwater Tracking Ranges (MUTR) programme. According to L3Harris, it will provide undersea warfare support including a sub-surface tracking capability to aid current and future RAN assets, warfighting tactics and proficiency.

The company also noted that the MUTR programme will also boost Australia’s sovereign readiness by safeguarding its maritime approaches and sea lines of communication.

“We’re committed to growing Australian defence capabilities by leveraging our global technology and experience to develop Australia’s sovereign maritime underwater tracking range approach,” said Alan Clements, Corporate Vice President and Australia Country Executive at L3Harris.

“This is an important competence now and into the future as we continue to modernize and enhance maritime platforms and systems,” added Clements.

The DoD earlier announced in November 2020 that it will procure a new sensor network for the MUTR system, after the original tracking range – which used a series of sensors to capture and relay information on the location and movement of assets that are operating within the tracking field – was shut down in 2012.

“The MUTR will facilitate exercises in deep ocean and littoral waters, involving surface and sub-surface assets simultaneously,” stated L3Harris, noting that such ranges are critical for testing platform and weapon system readiness. It added that this capability will be particularly important for Australia’s strategic shipbuilding programme.

L3Harris stated that it will build the MUTR in Western Australia, although it did not reveal further details of the system.

by Jr Ng