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Thales to supply sonics suite for German NH90 Sea Tiger helicopters

New NH90 NFH Sea Tiger helicopters on order for the German Navy are to be equipped with a FLASH Sonics anti-submarine warfare (ASW) acoustics suite supplied by Thales.

Announcing its selection by the German Ministry of Defence and NHIndustries on 22 February, Thales said that the company would supply its Folding Light Acoustic System for Helicopters (FLASH) active dipping sonar and BlueTracker sonobuoy processing systems for the programme.

Germany's Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support of the German Armed Forces (BAAINBw) awarded NHIndustries a contract for 31 Sea Tiger helicopters in November 2020. The new helicopters will replace the German Navy's legacySea Lynx Mk 88A helicopters from 2025.

The BAAINBw had previously ordered 18 NH90 NFH Sea Lion naval utility helicopters. The Sea Tiger variant is based on the Sea Lion configuration, but adds a tactical mission suite to enable it to perform ASW and anti-surface warfare.

According to Thales, the combination of the FLASH low-frequency active dipping sonar and the latest BlueTracker active/passive sonobuoy processing capability will provide “unmatched area coverage”. Capable of processing up to 64 buoys simultaneously, the system will also be capable of processing the new SonoFlash active/passive low frequency sonobuoy developed by Thales.

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