With many regional navies studying options to introduce or improve anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities, Ultra Electronics (UK Pavilion, Stand 05-D20) is pressing the merits of its advanced sonobuoy and acoustic processing technology.
Sonobuoys are expendable air- or ship-launched devices that deploy to selectable sea depths. Acoustic or target data is then transmitted back to the platform for subsequent processing. Employment of the latest underwater and RF technology ensures a reliable stream of accurate acoustic and target data. This technology is carefully packaged so that sonobuoys are compact, robust and come in a standard form-factor with standardised telemetry.
Available sonobuoys include a selection of active, passive and bathythermal devices for conventional or Multi-Static Active (MSA) operations, in both littoral and deep-water environments.
MSA processing, in which multiple active sources and passive receivers are simultaneously processed to improve probability of detection and deny submarines situational awareness, has been pioneered by Ultra to combat the advances in quiet submarines. As part of its MSA package, Ultra’s Sonar Systems business has developed innovative new display formats to ease operator workload and simplify the interpretation of target data.
Having previously demonstrated MSA functionality on board Royal Air Force Nimrod MR.2 maritime patrol aircraft, Ultra is now supplying its MSA processing into the Royal Navy’s Merlin HM.2 helicopter programme under contract to Lockheed Martin UK. In this application, Ultra is working with Thales UK to integrate MSA functionality into the Merlin sonics suite.
Ultra is also promoting the use of sonobuoys as part of a networked ASW construct for surface ships.
In this capacity, the company sees significant benefit from using sonobuoys alongside shipborne active and passive sonar components.
This is one option offered by the company as part of its Integrated Sonar System.