Safran to Provide Vigy Engage Electro-Optic Sensor for Australia’s SEA 1180 Offshore Patrol Vessels

Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia has been selected, by Saab Australia, to provide the latest version of its Vigy Engage electro-optic sensor as part of the situational awareness system for the Royal Australian Navy’s SEA 1180 Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) project.

In April this year, Saab received contract from Lürssen Australia to provide its Situational Awareness System (SAS), which is based on Saab Australia’s 9LV Combat Management System, for the SEA 1180 OPVs. The OPVs will also be fitted with Saab’s EOS 500 electro-optical fire control director.

The contract is expected to run over the 12 year OPV shipbuilding programme, which will see the delivery of 12 new ships to the Royal Australian Navy.

Safran Vigy Observer / Engage
Safran Vigy Observer / Engage electro-optic sensor system. Safran Electronics & Defense Photo.

Developed and produced by Safran Electronics & Defense, Vigy Engage is a light, panoramic, multi-sensor shipboard electro optic system. It includes a cooled infrared imager, video channels and a laser rangefinder. Employing advanced stabilization techniques, it provides clear images day or night, including in rough seas and at high speed.

Vigy Engage is recognized worldwide for its robustness, high-quality images, ease of use, compact design, light weight and easy integration. More than 300 Vigy Engage systems have been sold worldwide.

Capable of detecting long range targets, Vigy Engage will provide a decisive advantage to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in the asymmetrical environments: protection of ports and infrastructures, maritime police, anti-terrorist and anti-piracy combat. It also provides invaluable assistance in missions designed to protect fishing and economic zones, navigation aid, and assistance to ships and crews at sea.

This new success will enable Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia to continue to reinforce its footprint in Australia and to continue building its team through local employment. “Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia (SEDA) is proud to sign this contract with Saab Australia. This confirms the Australian presence of Safran, the entire team at SEDA is greatly appreciative of the trust engendered in this award”, said Mark Sander Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Safran Electronics & Defense Australasia.

SEA 1180 OPVs – Royal Australian Navy

German shipbuilder, Lürssen was selected last year as the prime contractor by the Australian Government for designing and building 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), for its $4 billion SEA 1180 Phase 1 OPV project.

Lürssen beat shortlisted rivals Damen of the Netherlands and Fassmer of Germany.

The SEA 1180 ships will be larger and more capable than Australia’s current Armidale-class patrol boats, they are replacing. They will be 80 metres in length with a displacement of 1700 tonnes and a draught of 4 metres.

The vessels will be fitted with a 40mm gun for self-protection, three 8.4m sea boats, state of the art sensors as well as command and communication systems. This will allow the OPVs to operate alongside Australian Border Force vessels, other Australian Defence Force units and our regional partners.

The new SEA 1180 OPV fleet will conduct intelligence and surveillance missions (ISR), search and rescue (SAR), humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and border protection patrols. The OPVs will have an important role protecting the borders and will provide greater range and endurance than the existing patrol boat fleet. The OPVs will allow the Navy to undertake more extensive operations and protect resources over greater distances and in more complex maritime environments.

They are able to embark unmanned aerial (UAV), underwater (UUV) and surface vehicles (USV) and can operate larger sea boats which are essential for boarding operations.

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