Australia approves minehunter programme
The Australian government has granted first pass approval for plans to extend the service life of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) Huon class minehunter vessels, the Australian Department of Defence announced on 11 August.
The project aims to provide Australia with effective maritime mine countermeasure capability out to the 2030s, by extending the life of the Huon class vessels while a replacement is determined.
The Huon class was built by Thales Australia (then ADI) and introduced into service in the early 2000s.
According to the Department of Defence, negotiations are underway with Thales Australia to engage it as the prime systems integrator to deliver the project. Under Thales’ lead there will be opportunities for other Australian companies to support the minehunters through their service life.
Head of Navy Capability, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, said: 'The Huon class have proven highly capable, supporting defence’s international engagement strategy through participation in exercises and operations to secure our sea lanes and disposing of Second World War explosive remnants, and they will continue to serve Australia for years to come.'
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