A deperming system performs an external magnetic treatment of the vessel through loops of cables supplied by converters.
SEA 1350 calls for a new Magnetic Treatment facility for the Royal Australian Navy. Collins-class and Attack-class submarines and surface ships will use it to undergo a vital pre-deployment process called deperming, which reduces or eliminates the magnetism of a steel hull and so aids its stealth, preventing it triggering magnetic mines or attracting certain types of torpedo. All warships and submarines must undergo this process periodically.
The traditional deperming process sees the entire body of a ship or submarine wrapped in a massive wire coil. Electricity is then passed through the coil to reduce the magnetic ‘signature’ of the vessel – a painstaking process that can take several days. The innovative AMRA approach uses wire coils laid down on the sea bed through which a specific current form is passed as the vessel moves over the coils. This ‘over-run’ process takes less than one day and therefore provides a significant operational advantage when compared to the traditional wrapping, which can take up to 10 days.
Project SEA 1350 is worth between $50 and $100 million dollars and will replace an existing deperming facility used by the RAN; if successful, AMRA would install the new deperming system at Fleet Base West. A key sub-contractor and Australia’s leading manufacturer of power quality and conversion solutions, THYCON, also based in Melbourne, will perform the electrical design and manufacturing. Wherever possible, Australian companies will be used in the design, construction and maintenance of the range.