More than Two Decades of Sustainment Partnership for Australia
Saab Dynamics and BlueZone delegates to Underwater Defence and Security at Farnborough, UK, were pleased to meet and renew in-person connections this year in May.
Saab Dynamics and BlueZone have worked together for more than two decades in support of the Double Eagle Mine Disposal System operated by the Royal Australian Navy from the Huon Class Minehunter Coastal Ships. The relationship between Saab and BlueZone has always been highly collaborative leading to a win-win for sustainment of the RAN’s principal mine disposal system. “The Double Eagle system has the ‘power-under-the-hood’ to operate in all environmental conditions around Australia’s coastline,” said Neil Hodges, “the mine threat to Australia could eventuate in Australia’s northern ports where tidal conditions are severe, and visibility is zero – very harsh conditions for mine disposal that the Double Eagle is uniquely capable of performing in.”
Saab and BlueZone are now collaborating on a Capability Assurance Program for the Double Eagle system that addresses urgent obsolescence issues and will ensure serviceability of the system to meet current timelines for mine disposal capability. The technical team at BlueZone Group has developed many of the engineering changes for the Double Eagle system with support from Saab for key elements as required. The RAN Double Eagle system is now unique amongst global Double Eagle systems and a sovereign sustainment capability is essential for maintenance of Navy’s ability to dispose of mines beyond diver depth or in harsh or dangerous conditions where divers would be at elevated risk.
The collaboration between Saab and BlueZone will continue and expand with the AUV62 Intermediate ASW Training Target to enter service for the RAN in 2022. This system will provide Defence with a significant new training capability to “train as you fight” for ASW exercises conducted from submarines, ships and maritime patrol aircraft. BlueZone will support maintenance, mobilisation and at sea deployment of the Training Target on the east and west coasts to meet Navy and Air Force needs.