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Aussies, US Team on Submarine Systems (Nov. 19)

A new era of cooperation has been reached between Australia and the United States in the further development and improvement of the new combat system being provided for Australia's Collins Class Submarines.

The system, called the AN/BYG-1 Combat Control System, will be installed in both US Navy and Royal Australian Navy submarines under an Armaments Cooperation Project.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by Australia and the United States for future joint development, production and support of the combat system.

Defence Minister Robert Hill said this latest decision follows the Government's approval of the $455 million Collins Replacement Combat System Project in September 2002 and will lead to significant upgrades to the capability of the Collins Fleet commencing with the first installation in 2006.

"Cooperating with the US Navy means we have the opportunity to influence the design and development of the systems and to participate in a continuous upgrade process that will provide the latest advances while continuing to meet our particular requirements," Senator Hill said.

"The cooperative approach also provides opportunities for Australian industry to inject Australian innovative technology into the joint program and to participate in supporting the systems while in service.

"The MOU specifically provides for industry from both countries to bid for work on equal terms and to be selected competitively."

The new combat systems will complement the new advanced capability torpedoes for the Collins Class submarines, also approved by the Government late 2002, and also being developed and produced under an Armaments Cooperation Project with the US Navy.

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Agreement Signed with the US over Collins Subs