Leonardo has completed a live sea trial of its new ultra-light sonics enhanced system (ULISSES) off the coast of Italy.

The trial demonstrated the submarine-hunting capabilities of ULISSES, an integrated acoustic sensor solution.

The company noted that the development of the system is on course to be completed by the end of December, with deliveries expected to take place in 2020.

Leonardo is in discussions with potential buyers of the ULISSES.

During the trial, the company used the sensor system to automatically locate simulated submarines.

The solution can detect enemy submarines and determine their locations.

It features a software capability provided by Ultra Electronics to process data from up to 64 distributed sonobuoys or dipping sonar sensors.

ULISSES uses information from several sources to ‘triangulate the location of potentially hostile vessels’.

The company is developing the acoustic system in partnership with Ultra Electronics and L3 Technologies.

While Ultra Electronics is supplying multistatic technology and miniaturised sonobuoys, L3 Technologies is responsible for providing dipping sonar.

Leonardo said in a statement: “The recent sea trials proved the benefits of ULISSES multistatic capabilities in a realistic naval environment. They began with Leonardo deploying various types of Ultra Electronics supplied sonobuoys, including some with GPS, from a ship.

“The ULISSES processor was then used to quickly and accurately locate a number of simulated under-sea targets, automatically marking their coordinates on a map on the operator’s workstation.”

ULISSES is a lightweight solution that can be used for very small unmanned aircraft and helicopters.

The acoustic solution can also be installed to replace an existing sonics system. It enables automatic tracking and alerts and provides users with the ability to remotely control sonobuoys through system commands.