Last year, the Department of Defence released a document titled the Force Structure Plan 2020 in which it detailed the government’s intentions for new and adjusted capabilities for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). A key theme in this plan and those related to it is the requirement to continually adjust and adapt ADF capabilities in order to meet new and emerging threats, and to ensure the ADF remains a capable, agile and potent force.
As such several new procurement activities have emerged tackling similar problems but from different angles all seeking system of systems approaches, high technology solutions in autonomy and robotics and multi-discipline integration. Earlier this year we saw the release of SEA 1905 Phase 1 which focussed on Maritime Mine Countermeasures and Military Survey with an added focus on Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Looking at autonomy more broadly is the Autonomous Warrior exercise being carried out throughout 2021 and the Army Robotics Exposition held earlier this year. This week we look at the new Approach to Market Project SEA 5012 Phase 1: Integrated Undersea Surveillance System.
Being a nation surrounded by ocean, undersea surveillance is receiving greater priority and Defence seeks to see this capability advance over the next few decades in order to contribute to Australia’s maritime awareness and protection of sea lines of communication. This current Request for Information (RFI) aims to:
- Provide Defence with the technical readiness levels of potential options
- Seek information regarding Australian industry’s ability to design, manufacture, supply and sustain the sub-systems, systems and systems-of-systems which will constitute the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System
- Understand approximate project cost and schedule assumptions.
The key areas Defence is seeking information from industry on are with regards to:
- Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems;
- Surveillance Systems
- Sensor signal processing and analysis; and
- Future systems and alternative technologies and concept
Note that while RFIs are not a guarantee of any future procurement, and that a response does not lead to shortlisting in the next round of procurement activity, a response does inform government of available capability which in turn shapes any potential procurement and can even at times lead to directed procurements (as opposed to open sources) where market response is limited. So it is always worth submitting a response if this is your area of expertise. This Request for Information closes on 24 September 2021