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Ultra contracted for hull-mounted sonar for Canadian Surface Combatant

Ultra Electronics Maritime Sonar Systems has confirmed a contract award to commence work on the hull-mounted anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sonar system to equip the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN’s) next-generation surface combatant.

Under contract to Lockheed Martin Canada, the company is transitioning technology from the Sonar 2150 medium-frequency hull-mounted sonar previously developed by Ultra Electronics in the UK for the Royal Navy’s (RN’s) Type 23 upgrade and Type 26 programmes. The Canadian system variant is to be known as S2150-C.

Lockheed Martin Canada Rotary and Mission Systems – bidding a BAE Systems’ Global Combat Ship design derived from the RN’s Type 26 frigate – was in October 2018 selected as ship design and combat system partner for the RCN’s Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) programme. A class of 15 CSC ships is to be built by Irving Shipbuilding at its yard in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with deliveries beginning in the early 2030s.

Ultra Electronics Maritime Sonar Systems, based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is leading the Underwater Warfare component for CSC. This will pair the S2150-C hull-mounted sonar with the indigenously developed Towed Low Frequency Active Sonar (TLFAS) low-frequency variable depth towed sonar system. The latter, designed to provide a wide area ASW search capability, supplants the Thales Sonar 2087 low-frequency active/passive sonar selected for the RN’s Type 26 design.

The award for S2150-C comes just weeks after Ultra received a contract to advance the TLFAS sonar from programme definition into engineering development and manufacture. “[S2150-C] technology will now be transferred to Canada, with Canadian workers and Canadian suppliers being skilled up to provide significant material elements of the system, as well as to conduct design customisation, system integration, installation, acceptance, and in-country support,” said the company.

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