Thales awarded sonar contracts for 6th and 7th Astute Class boats

Thales UK has been awarded contracts to supply the Sonar 2076 fully-integrated search and attack submarine sonar system for the UK Royal Navy’s sixth and seventh Astute Class submarines.

Thales will supply the sonar system to BAE Systems Maritime - Submarines, the prime contractor for the Astute Class build, to be fitted to the submarines at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness.

The complete sonar system supplied by Thales will comprise both inboard and outboard of the bow, fin, intercept and flank arrays, and the associated inboard processing. Thales has now been contracted to supply Sonar 2076 for all seven Astute Class boats.

The Astute Class platform is also fitted with a significant number of other Thales sensors and systems, including two non-hull penetrating CM010 optronic masts that, together with Sonar 2076, effectively provide the submarine with its ‘eyes and ears’.

Thales also supplies the electronic support measures (ESM) system, which has two multifunction antenna arrays mounted on the masts. These are designed to monitor the electronic environment around the submarine to provide situational awareness of other platforms equipped with radar systems operating in the area.

Other Thales equipment onboard includes the ECB680 communications and SEEPIRB emergency beacon buoys and an ultra-high frequency satellite communications antenna.

Ian Hawkes, Head of Combat Systems, BAE Systems Maritime - Submarines, said: “BAE Systems is pleased to award Thales UK these important contracts for the sonar systems for the sixth and seventh Astute Class submarines. Placing these contracts not only continues a well-established and enduring relationship with Thales UK, it also helps the submarine enterprise to meet the submarine programme affordability challenge, by obtaining economy of scale through batch procuring the sonar.”

Phil Naybour, head of Thales UK’s naval business, said: “Thales is proud to be supplying Sonar 2076 for all seven Astute Class submarines. This successful programme reflects the skill and dedication of our teams in Cheadle and Templecombe, and also the close support and cooperation we have received from BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defence.”

Captain Martyn Williams, Submarines Combat Systems Team Leader for the MOD’s Defence, Equipment and Support Organisation, said: “With advanced stealth technology, the Astute Class has been designed to be quieter than any of her predecessors and is very hard to detect. These sonars deliver world-beating capabilities that, together with the other sensors, ensure that these submarines can operate in the most challenging environments and against the most challenging of threats.”

Source: Thales Group (Paris: HO.PA)
Date: Feb 26, 2013