Thales Australia’s Carrington Site Transforms into Maritime Autonomy Hub, Boosting Defence

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Thales Australia, a leading defence technology company, is embarking on an ambitious project that promises to invigorate the maritime industry and create economic opportunities in the Newcastle region.

The company is in the early stages of developing a master plan for its Carrington site on the Newcastle foreshore, envisioning it as a sovereign Maritime Autonomy and SME Collaboration Precinct.

“Newcastle and the Hunter region have been a stalwart of the RAN’s mine countermeasure capability from the time of construction of the first Huon class MHC vessels by ADI in the nineties, through to today, with MHC maintenance and support continued to be carried out at Carrington,” said Troy Stephen, Vice President, Underwater Systems, Thales Australia and New Zealand.

For over three decades, the Carrington site has been pivotal in assisting the RAN’s Huon class MHC vessels and mine warfare capabilities. As the RAN’s MHCs are scheduled for gradual retirement, the Carrington site’s development will serve as Australia’s dedicated hub for developing and deploying maritime autonomy capabilities

Located in the heart of Newcastle Harbor, the Maritime Autonomy and SME Collaboration Precinct leverages the region’s century-long maritime heritage. It is ideally situated to facilitate rapid access to both shallow and deep waters for trial teams, fostering innovation and testing of cutting-edge maritime technologies.

The company’s development at Carrington will expand its global footprint in technology and autonomous capabilities. With existing Maritime Autonomy Centres in the UK and the US, the Carrington site completes a vital capability triangle, facilitating collaboration among these three nations to pool resources, expertise, and industrial efforts.

“As Newcastle has evolved into a modern metropolis, the RAN’s Mine Countermeasures and Military Survey Capability will also undergo rapid advancement and a significant technological step-change into autonomy under SEA1905-1,” Stephen said.

Thales Australia’s Maritime Autonomy and SME Collaboration Precinct will bolster Australia’s defence capabilities while fostering economic and technological growth in Newcastle.

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