Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia (SEDA) has received a contract to provide in-service support to the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) infrared search and track (IRST) VAMPIR systems.

The contract includes full support and maintenance for the defence platforms, engineering management, strategic procurement, and inventory management.

The contract was awarded by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and requires SEDA to provide support services for a period of five years. It also includes options to extend for up to 15 years.

SEDA CEO Alexis de Pelleport said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to continue our support for the ADF. Our ongoing collaboration with the RAN ensures that we can deliver outstanding service to national defence forces in terms of availability, reliability and sustainability.”

The majority of work will be performed in Australia and the company will establish a dedicated team in the country to support IRST systems.

“SEDA’s investment in its Botany facility and technical team will see the transfer of expertise to Australia to enable repairs to be conducted locally in the future.”

In November last year, Safran opened a new facility in Botany, NSW. The facility houses a Class 7 clean room, dedicated test benches for infrared and laser technologies, stabilisation and video processing.

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The Botany facility also features other test benches and a thermal test chamber. Apart from supporting SEDA’s portfolio of sensors, the equipment will also be able to service submarine optronic masts.

Australia Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said: “SEDA’s investment in its Botany facility and technical team will see the transfer of expertise to Australia to enable repairs to be conducted locally in the future.

“This will lead to a significant reduction in repair timeframes as significant sub-components will no longer need to be returned to France for overhaul and repair.”

SEDA noted that the new contract will allow it to expand its presence in the country.

In October, Safran reached partnership agreements with Advanced Navigation and Thomas Global Systems to further the development of submarine technology in Australia.

The agreement with Advanced Navigation involves cooperation in the development of inertial navigation systems for land and maritime defence applications.

Safran and Advanced Navigation will work as part of a combined project team with focus on the navigation subsystem of Australia’s Future Submarine Program.