ERAPSCO, a joint venture between Sparton and Ultra Electronics (ULE) subsidiary USSI, has been awarded subcontracts to supply sonobuoys for the US Navy.

Under the $5.6m and $5.2m production deals to Sparton Electronics and USSI, respectively, ERAPSCO will supply AN/SSQ-53F passive acoustic sensor and AN/SSQ-125 multistatic active coherent (MAC) sonobuoys to the US Navy.

Designed to offer support to the US naval anti-submarine forces, the Q53F and Q125 sonobuoys can detect acoustic emissions or reflections from potentially hostile submarines and transmit these signals to US Navy airborne anti-submarine warfare forces.

The AN/SSQ-53F passive acoustic sensor sonobuoy features four hydrophone depth selections, five life selections, constant shallow Omni sensor, sensor selection capability and directional frequency analysis and recording (DIFAR) automatic gain control (AGC) on/off, as well as the capability to set one of 96 VHF transmitter channels.

"The sonobuoys can detect acoustic emissions or reflections from potentially hostile submarines."

Additional features of the AN/SSQ-53F sonobuoys include electronic function select (EFS) and command function select (CFS), which can be used by the operator for sensor selection and other settings, including buoy life, depth setting, AGC level and RF channel.

Featuring digital signal processing and compass capability, the A-size, expendable AN/SSQ-125 MAC sonobuoy enables airborne navy personnel to perform bearing verification, target localisation and tracking.

Prior to deployment, the AN/SSQ-125’s RF channel can be programmed to any of the standard sonobuoy operating channels and can be changed to its operating parameters or in depths, generate a ping, or scuttle while on a mission.

Scheduled to be completed by April 2015, work under the latest contract will be carried out at Sparton’s facility in DeLeon Springs, Florida, as well as at USSI’s facility in Columbia City, Indiana, US.

Image: Sailors unload sonobuoys from an MH-60R helicopter, stationed onboard a ship. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.

Defence Technology