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UK commences market survey for next-generation torpedo defence

RN warships are currently configured to receive the Sonar 2170 Surface Ship Torpedo Defence system. (Ultra)

The UK Royal Navy (RN) has embarked on a pre-procurement market survey activity intended to support planning and inform options for a future surface ship torpedo defence (SSTD) system.

Released on 11 June, the Next-Generation SSTD request for information (RFI) has asked industry for white papers on both individual components and full β€˜end-to-end' system solutions.

RN surface ships and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels are currently fitted to receive the Sonar 2170 SSTD system. Developed and manufactured by what is now Ultra Maritime, the Sonar 2170 system is a reactive soft-kill torpedo defence suite featuring a dedicated towed high-frequency passive digital array and intercept sensor, a flexible towed acoustic body containing a multimode countermeasures device, and expendable acoustic countermeasures launched from fixed launchers mounted above deck. Automated torpedo detection, classification, and localisation (DCL) functionality is hosted within the Sonar 2170 electronics cabinet.

With a permanent Sonar 2170 fit to all units deemed unaffordable, a pool of 16 systems has been procured to enable a capability rotation across the fleet as operational needs demand. Sonar 2170 is planned to remain in service until 2030.

Outlining the RN's scope of interest in Next-Generation SSTD, the RFI has asked for information regarding extant/traditional capabilities as well as novel systems and approaches. Key areas of interest include sensing; soft-kill and hard-kill effectors and effector delivery mechanisms; processing; platform and combat system integration; and platform and force-level defence.

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