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Ultra secures Type 26 Batch 2 contract for Sonar 2150

Ultra Maritime has been contracted by the MoD to deliver an additional five Sonar 2150 systems for the Type 26 ASW frigate programme. (Ultra)

Ultra Maritime has been awarded a GBP30 million (USD38.06 million) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply bow-mounted sonar systems for the five Type 26 Batch 2 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) frigates on order for the UK Royal Navy (RN).

Disclosed in an MoD voluntary transparency notice published on 23 June, the eight-year contract covers the supply of five Sonar 2150 medium-frequency sonars. The full scope of supply includes support to installation, setting-to-work, testing, trials, and scope-related tasking.

The Sonar 2150 system – currently being introduced to the RN service onboard a number of Type 23 frigates to replace the legacy Thales Sonar 2050 bow sonar – is designed to provide active and passive ASW surveillance and classification, automatic torpedo detection, mine and obstacle avoidance, underwater telephone, and automatic marine mammal detection. Designed to minimise space, weight, power, and cooling (SWaP-C) demands on the host platform, the system features a digital outboard array using cylindrical Tonpilz transducers, and a single inboard cabinet.

Ultra has been single-sourced through the MoD's Maritime Combat Systems Underwater Electronic Warfare team, which will supply the sonar sets to Type 26 prime contractor BAE Systems as government-furnished equipment. According to the voluntary transparency notice, the contract was procured through a non-competitive negotiation as purchasing bow sonars from another supplier “would oblige the MoD to acquire sonars having different technical characteristics, which would result in incompatibility between the additional sonars and the existing Sonar 2150 sonars fitted onto other Type 26 frigates and incompatibility with the customised shared computer infrastructure into which the sonars on all Type 26 frigates are required to connect”.

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