Thales has expanded its product portfolio by acquiring the Integrated Maritime Coordination and Surveillance System (IMARCS) from Austal.
IMARCS is a maritime command and control system which integrates Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), GPS and radar into a single picture of the operational environment. This situational awareness picture can be shared end to end – from small boat to patrol vessel to headquarters in a single, real time network.
The acquisition also signifies a closer working relationship between Thales and Austal for the delivery of the Australian Customs Cape Class Patrol Boats Program, and subsequent synergies regarding the Royal Australian Navy’s Armidale Class Patrol Boat fleet and their replacements.
IMARCS offers naval, coast guard, law enforcement and Search and Rescue organisations:
• Real-time situational awareness
• Integration and coordination of sea, air and coastal assets
• Management of maritime jurisdictions
• Search and Rescue (SAR) coordination
• Safe and effective boarding operations.
IMARCS is currently being delivered as part of the Cape Class Patrol Boats Program for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. The new vessels being designed, built and supported by Austal, will replace the existing fleet of Bay Class patrol boats.
Chris Lloyd, Vice President for Maritime & Aerospace activities at Thales in Australia, said: “Thales recognises the increasing demand for maritime situational awareness across all security and military operations. The IMARCS product provides a good fit with the existing Thales portfolio of maritime mission solutions. Thales looks forward to working closely with Austal in delivering the Cape Class program and pursuing future opportunities together.”
Graham Backhouse, Austal President and General Manager, said: “Having successfully developed and integrated IMARCS into the early Cape Class vessels, Austal is delighted Thales has acquired the system and will leverage its expertise to enhance this capability”.
Press Release, May 29, 2014; Image: AUSTAL