C4iSR: Maritime

Exponaval 2016: Leonardo unveils ATAS low-frequency towed array sonar

01 December 2016

Leonardo displayed its new low/medium frequency active towed array sonar solution at Exponaval 2016, and revealed an initial two customers for the system

The new Active Towed Array Sonar (ATAS) system comprises a towed body with the active source frequency transducers, an in-line passive towed array, and the associated handling system, console, processing, and electronics systems.

The ATAS system was designed to address requirements for a new surveillance and torpedo detection capable system to equip the Italian Navy's Pattugliatori Polivalenti d'Altura (PPA) multi-purpose offshore patrol vessels. According to Leonardo, all seven PPA vessels on order from Fincantieri are to receive the ATAS.

The new system is, as of late November 2016, still in the design phase, with prototype testing yet to to commence. According to Leonardo the new system is differentiated in the market by its compact footprint and low weight (eight tonnes), while still being designed to achieve detection ranges out to around 40 km.

A first export-order has already been secured, with IHS Jane's told by a Leonardo official that ATAS would equip the four new corvettes ordered by Qatar from Fincantieri in mid-2016.

Meanwhile, the towed torpedo detection system Black Shark has completed testing and is ready for production. Production will follow in due course to equip a number of ships due for delivery in the 2022 timeframe, including the new landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship for the Italian Navy, and the new landing platform dock (LPD) ship for the Qatar Emiri Naval Force.

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Leonardo's new low- to medium-frequency Active Towed Array Sonar (ATAS) on display at the Exponaval show in Valparaiso, Chile. (IHS/Alex Pape)Leonardo's new low- to medium-frequency Active Towed Array Sonar (ATAS) on display at the Exponaval show in Valparaiso, Chile. (IHS/Alex Pape)

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