Thales Australia has been awarded government funding for its fibre-optic towed array (FOTA) for submarines under the Department of Defence’s capability and technology demonstrator (CTD) programme.

The FOTA technology involves an electro-optic acoustic sensor that produces laser signals through a thin fibre-optic cable.

FOTA will serve as an upgrade for Australia’s Collins submarines and future anti-submarine warfare frigates.

The technology has also been used in developing deployable sea-bed surveillance arrays for harbour or ship protection.

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said the australian industry’s expertise in areas of defense technology has supported the Australian military.

“The FOTA is just one example of these breakthroughs. It is much smaller, lighter and more versatile than previous towed arrays and therefore opens up new possibilities for both vessel design and naval operations,” he said.

The company has provided sonar systems for the FFG upgrade, Collins submarine, Huon Class minehunter and ANZAC frigates.