The UK Navy has placed Thales Sonar Systems into service in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises as part of the Taurus 2009 deployment in the Arabian Sea.

Thales’s underwater systems have been playing a crucial role aboard frigates, helicopters and a submarine in the exercise.

The exercise scenario combined a Type 23 Frigate, HMS Somerset with Merlin helicopters to locate and destroy an enemy submarine played by the Trafalgar Class submarine, HMS Talent.

HMS Somerset is equipped with 2087 surface-ship towed-array sonar, HMS Talent operated with 2076 submarine sonar and the Merlin helicopters flew with FLASH dipping sonar, while HMS Portland is fitted with 2050 bow-mounted active sonar.

The Type 23 frigate linked their active sonar sweeps with the Merlins, operating from the deck of the helicopter assault ship HMS Ocean, while the Merlin helicopters hung in the air and dipped the FLASH sonar system into the water to detect the submarine threat.

Thales’s UK naval business managing director Ed Lowe said that this was a rare opportunity to demonstrate the company’s sonars 2050, 2087, 2076 and FLASH in the same ASW exercise and that the company was looking forward to analysing the results.