Owen International Pty Ltd & Chess Dynamics announce partnership to supply and support Electro-Optical Fire Control systems.

Sydney based Australian SME Owen International and UK manufacturer Chess Dynamics Limited, are pleased to announce the signing of a partnership agreement, and the establishment of an Australian supply and support facility for the company’s advanced sensor systems.

The agreement will involve the transfer of IP and training of Australian personnel to be able to commission, repair and upgrade systems and continue development of domestic support capabilities for the Sea Eagle family of Fire Control Electro Optical (FCEO) systems.

Chess Oct 20

This latest agreement formalises the association of the two companies started 4 years ago, with the aim of supporting advanced electro optical systems upgrades for RAN ship classes.  The relationship grew substantially with the selection of the Type 26 for the Hunter Class program in 2018. 

Early export wins for Australian Industry as a result of the Hunter Class Frigate AIC plan have already been realised, including the use of Australian cameras and thermal imagers from EOS (Queenbeyan, NSW) and Laser rangefinder from Laserdyne (Molendinar, QLD) in international naval programs. The EOS cameras and thermal images are being employed within the UK Type 26 Frigates and the Laserdyne Laser Range Finders in a contract Chess have just secured to supply 24 x FCEO directors to the Belgian and Netherlands MCMV program. Deliveries will take place from 2021 through to 2028.

In May Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP, announced a Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant to Owen International to scale up defence industry to support Defence’s most critical capabilities.  “New South Wales-based Owen International supports advanced electrical systems used by the ADF in maritime environments. Their grant funding will be used to establish test facilities for visual landing aids and advanced fire control systems.”

Approval of this proposal has allowed Owen International to establish a regional capability to undertake maintenance, repair and overhaul tasks on Electro-Optical Gun Fire Control Systems from Chess Dynamics as well as on Visual Landing Aid systems already in service across multiple RAN ship classes.  This contributes to the infrastructure required to ensure the Commonwealth’s objectives concerning local industry involvement in future Maritime programs like the Hunter Class Frigate Program are met.

Les Goodridge, Managing Director at Owen International stated: "We are pleased to announce this exciting development for Owen International and Chess Dynamics. We are encouraged that the Department of Defence and Government have shown support for this initiative, allowing Owen International to provide greater efficiencies in sustainment while also undertaking activities in new build and modification programs “.

The Sea Eagle Fire Control Electro Optical has been successfully integrated with a wide range of Naval Combat Management Systems and different calibre guns, ranging from 30mm to 127mm. Key features include 24-hour target identification by long range TI and DLTV, automatic slewing and target acquisition and 24-hour passive surveillance.