Our HunterNet member in focus this month is the BlueZone Group, which was formed in 2015 to bring together ATSA Defence Services and UVS Trenchless Technologies. By capitalising on the synergies of each of these companies, together the BlueZone Group are able to service a diverse customer base.
BlueZone Group CEO, Neil Hodges said the strength of the group comes down to its diversity and Australia-wide presence.
“The strength of the group is our operation in diverse markets and our national footprint, which enables us to offer our customers products and services Australia-wide for applications ranging from the deep oceans to coastal seas, rivers and water infrastructure,” Neil said.
BlueZone Group’s companies specialise in operating in a wide range of underwater and water-based environments, utilising world leading technologies. ATSA Defence Services is one of those companies, servicing the defence, industrial and marine sectors. With a focus on the design and repair of electrical and mechanical equipment, ATSA have been successful in securing a number of high profile customers.
Co-founder and Engineering Director, Darren Burrowestransitioned from a Navy career to co-founding ATSA in 2000.Darren has been involved with HunterNet for a number of years and was involved with the ANZAC ship and Minehunter Coastal programs, which he contributes to being pivotal in setting him up for his post-Navy venture.
Darren said a key capability of the company is the operational and maintenance capability for mine detection equipment.
“We funded the development of our whole workshop facility in the Hunter, along with the growth of the company to create what I think is a sovereign industry capability for underwater vehicle maintenance,” Darren said.
Partnering with Saab Underwater Systems, ATSA delivered the Double Eagle Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) Mine Disposal system.
“We were finding, maintaining and repairing the system right from the get go,” Darren said.
“We were providing the training; we were service partners for Saab Underwater Systems, so we became their arms and legs in Australia in that period.
“We ran all the trials and got sign off from the customer, and we supported that system through the whole acquisition process. We then established the in-service support capability, which didn’t exist in Australia at that time”.
With the successful implementation of this program, Darren had a remit to oversee the delivery of the Saab underwater mine disposal system to the Minehunter Coastal program.Working with Thales and Saab, ATSA designed a series of ship trials and instrumental data collection tasks to identify cause of the combat system tracking issue. The program resulted in significant improvements in conducting critical mine disposal operations.
IMAGE | BlueZone Group is this month’s member in focus.