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ERAPSCO to supply AN/SSQ-53F Sonobuoys for US Navy

12 June 2012

SonobuoysERAPSCO, a joint venture between Sparton and Ultra Electronics (ULE) subsidiary USSI, has been awarded subcontracts to supply sonobuoys for the US Navy.

The company will provide passive AN/SSQ-53F sonobuoys under a $4m production subcontract to Sparton Electronics and an $8.9m production subcontract to USSI.

Designed to provide support to the US Naval Antisubmarine Forces, the Q53F sonobuoy can be used for detection, classification, and localisations of enemy submarines and to transmit signals to the navy airborne anti-submarine warfare forces.

The passive acoustic sensor is also used by the navy to measure the temperature profile of a water column, which provides sonar propagation and acoustic range prediction.

The small expendable sonar systems, sonobuoysm, features combined capabilities of both AN/SSQ-53D and AN/SSQ-57 sonobuoys, which can be dropped from aircraft and ships to perform underwater acoustic research or to help detect anti-submarine warfare.

"The Q53F sonobuoy can be used for detection, classification, and localisations of enemy submarines and to transmit signals to the navy airborne anti-submarine warfare forces."

Additional features of the Q53F sonobuoys include electronic function select (EFS) and command function select (CFS), which can be used by the operator to select mode of operation such as sensor selection and other settings including buoy life, depth setting, AGC level and RF channel.

Capable of automatically moving within eight hours of deployment, sonobuoys' basic abilities include four hydrophone depth selections, five life selections, DIFAR, constant shallow omni sensor or calibrated omni and sensor selection capability.

Under the combined $12.9m contract, ERAPSCO will develop and deliver 17,000 sonobuoys for the navy, while work is scheduled to be complete by January 2014.

Work will be carried out at Sparton's facility in DeLeon Springs, Florida, as well as at USSI's facility in Columbia City, Indiana.


Image: Sonobuoys being loaded into P-3 Orion aircraft. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photographer's mate 1st Class John Collins.