Thales has expanded its sonar range for small and medium-sized surface combatants and 300t patrol vessels, with the addition of new BlueWatcher hull-mounted sonar and Captas-1 towed-array sonar.
Claimed to be more compact, modular and ready to deploy on low-intensity missions, the new range aims to provide an initial anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability with improved performance and dependability.
The hull-mounted BlueWatcher sonar, which is based on similar technology to the FLASH dipping sonar for helicopters, is already operational with the US Navy, the UK Royal Navy and the French Navy.
The Captas-1 sonar, which comes in a single ceramic ring configuration, makes use of the identical technological building blocks used by the Captas-2 and Captas-4, which are currently used by several Nato nations.
The Captas-1 sonar's all-electric reeling system means it can be deployed from a smaller vessel.
A rise in territorial conflicts is fuelling the demand for systems to be integrated into patrol vessels and corvettes, in a bid to detect and deter underwater threats.
With the launch of new sonar suites, Thales claims that all vessel types can be integrated with sonar systems that are customised to their missions and offer improved performance under all weather and sea conditions.
Image: The Thales Captas-1 towed array sonar. Photo: courtesy of Thales.