Nathan Poyner, Managing Director, Rheinmetall Defence Australia, said that The Royal Australian Navy had ordered the Multi Ammunition Softkill System, or MASS, which will initially be used to equip 12 platforms. Following extensive trials, MASS was selected on account of its unique capabilities.
“For Rheinmetall, the order represents EUR 125 million in sales. The first systems will be delivered by the end of 2023. This is Rheinmetall’s single-biggest order for ship protection technology and the contract includes an option for equipping Australia’s entire fleet,” he said.
Poyner said the MASS systems ordered by the Royal Australian Navy will be assembled at Rheinmetall’s Centre of Excellence at Redbank in South-East Queensland.
“This will result in new possibilities for expanding the Group’s Australian supply chain. MASS offers potential partners in the Australian defence sector the chance to cooperate with Rheinmetall and the Royal Australian Navy in realising this important defensive capability,” he added.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia is seeking Australian-based specialised suppliers with expertise in electronics; electrics and artillery for strategic partnerships to produce components for MASS.
“Not only will this maritime order ensure the sovereign capability within Australia, MASS will also bolster employment in defence industry.
“More than 30 new roles are expected at Rheinmetall as result of MASS, with flow on benefits for Australian jobs, through these partnerships,” Poyner said.
MASS protects ships and boats from multifaceted threats from anti-ship guided missiles and laser-guided weapons – on the high seas, in littoral waters and on rivers.
Offering unique protection against modern sensor-guided missiles in all relevant wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, MASS can be installed on vessels of all sizes and readily integrated into existing shipboard command and weapon engagement systems or operate as a standalone system.
In the standard version, MASS consists of up to six trainable launchers, each of which can fire up to 32 Omni Trap decoy munitions.
Rheinmetall continues to perfect its tried-and-tested MASS family, assuring that in future, ships and their crews will have the best possible protection when operating on the high seas and in coastal waters.