Type 23 vessel HMS Montrose

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract to Thales to provide support for the Sonar 2050 anti-submarine sensor installed aboard the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class vessels.

Under the five-year contract, Thales will provide physical support to Sonar 2050 for operational defect rectifications, dry dock and afloat support, a worldwide 24/7 helpdesk support service and test equipment and handling.

Currently integrated on to thirteen Type 23 vessels, the Sonar 2050 is the Royal Navy’s primary hull-mounted anti-submarine warfare sensor.

The medium-range bow sonar provides passive detection capabilities at lower frequencies for warships.

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Thales UK naval business head Ed Lowe said: "We are the key sonar provider to the Royal Navy’s frigate fleet and we are investing heavily in research and development to ensure our sensors are ready to meet the demands of any future requirements."

"The medium-range bow sonar provides passive detection capabilities at lower frequencies for warships."

About eight Type 23 vessels are also integrated with Thales-built Sonar 2087 towed array system in the stern to allow warships to detect and locate submarines.

The two sensors along with an embarked Merlin helicopter featuring Thales FLASH dipping sonar (Sonar 2089) represents the Type 23 vessel as the "most potent anti-submarine warfare platform of any navy at sea today" for Royal Navy.

In addition to vertical-launch Seawolf (GWS 26 Mod 1 VLS), the Duke-class frigates are armed with eight harpoon surface-to-surface missiles in two four-cell launchers, as well as four 324mm torpedo tubes capable of carrying Stingray lightweight torpedoes.

Capable of accommodating a crew of 185, the 133m-long Duke-class frigates have been designed to provide anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities.

Image: UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 vessel HMS Montrose conducting mission at sea. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.

Defence Technology