P-3C Orion aircraft

The Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) has awarded a contract to General Dynamics (GD) Canada to provide next-generation acoustic processing systems in support of the P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft upgrade programme.

Under the multi-year contract, General Dynamics will provide 10 Vpx enhanced open architecture multi-static (VENOM) sonobuoy processors to prime contractor Korean Air Lines, to replace the existing acoustic systems under the Lot I P-3C aircraft upgrade programme.

General Dynamics had completed acoustic processors delivery in 2010 for the Republic of Korea Navy’s Lot II P-3 upgrade programme.

General Dynamics C4 Systems international vice-president David Ibbetson said the new advanced generation of acoustic processor will help operators to handle their complex tasks more effectively and efficiently than ever before.

"Acoustic operators face considerable challenges detecting today’s stealthy submarine threats."

"Acoustic operators face considerable challenges detecting today’s stealthy submarine threats, and the sheer volume of sensor data that they must manage and analyse in order to develop a complete situational awareness picture can be overwhelming," Ibbetson said.

Designed to provide underwater acoustic signal acquisition and processing capabilities, the VENOM system will help acoustic operators to detect, classify and track submarines quickly and accurately in complex undersea environments.

Fitted with sensor suite comprising an ASQ-81 magnetic anomaly detector and an ASA-65 magnetic compensator, the 35.61m anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft is powered by four Allison T56-A-14 turboprop engines.

The Lockheed Martin-built P-3 Orion maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft is also currently operational with Argentina,
Australia, Brazil, Chile, Greece, Iran, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Thailand and the US.

Image: Lockheed P-3C Orion aircraft in-flight over a thick cloud bank. Photo: courtesy of Sgt. Gary Coppage.

Defence Technology