ITT Exelis has awarded a contract to Thales Australia to deliver minesweeping equipment in support of the Republic of Korea Navy’s (ROKN) new mine sweeper hunters (MSH).

Under the contract, Thales will supply three ship sets of advanced acoustic generators (AAGs) to ITT, following which ITT will deliver the ship sets to GMB US, the prime contractor for the ROKN’s MSH Combined Influence Sweep (CIS) programme.

Thales South Korea country director Jean Pellegrin said that the advanced minesweeping technology is also in service with the Royal Australian Navy, the US Navy, and two other navies.

"As new mine-related threats emerge, it is vitally important to deploy cutting-edge systems that deliver innovative and flexible capabilities to friendly naval forces on operations," Pellegrin added.

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said: "This technology is the result of close cooperation with Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), as well as a long term investment to develop innovative, specialised solutions at our facility in Sydney, Australia."

Developed by Thales Australia along with Adelaide-based SME Resonance Technology and DSTO, AAG is a water driven, turbine powered acoustic generator that is capable of imitating ship noise and can integrate with any sweep system.

The acoustic generator is also available in another variant known as Infrasonic Advanced Acoustic Generator (IAAG), which is the low frequency variant of the AAG designed to simulate large ships.

The mine countermeasures technology is also capable of rapidly deploying from a wide range of vessels, remote controlled drones and craft of opportunity, such as fishing vessels.