The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) diesel-electric submarine HMCS Windsor has become the first of the service's four Victoria-class boats to complete its fit of the Lockheed Martin AN/BQQ-10 (V)7 sonar processing suite.
The AN/BQQ-10, acquired through a Foreign Military Sales case with the US government, was originally developed under the Acoustic Rapid Commercial Off-the-Shelf Insertion (A-RCI) programme.
The BQQ-10 fit, an upgrade to the inboard processing – or ‘dry end’ – of the Victoria-class sonar suite, has come in three parts, Captain Christopher Robinson, head of Canada’s submarine force, told Jane’s onboard second-in-class Windsor in Augusta, Sicily, prior to the boat joining NATO’s ‘Dynamic Manta’ anti-submarine warfare exercise, which started on 5 March.
The first element comprised the upgrade of the passive ranging sonar fit, replacing the earlier Sonar 2041 MicroPUFFS hardware, he said. The second part covered the bow sonar system upgrade, while the third element was the introduction of a high-frequency active sonar.
Capt Robinson noted that the full BQQ-10 (V)7 fit has boosted detection and discrimination capability.
The BQQ-10 (V)7 capability is being installed incrementally in the four boats. Windsor’s fit was completed during a recent intermediate work period before the boat sailed for its current deployment. According to Windsor’s commanding officer, Commander Peter Chu, the submarine is now fully integrated and “every aspect of it we have capability in”.
Boat three, HMCS Corner Brook , is planned to be the second boat to complete the fit, with work currently being finished during its extended docking work period maintenance and upgrade activities taking place at Esquimalt on Canada’s West coast. Corner Brook is due to return to operational service in 2018.
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