The Norwegian Defence Material Agency (NDMA) has awarded a contract to Unitech Aerospace’s Tods Defence to provide upgraded sonar domes for the national navy’s Nansen-class frigates.

The company will deliver the solutions to NDMA for installation on the navy’s five anti-submarine warfare frigates currently in-service.

Tods Defence vice-president and managing director Peter Eckersall said: “Tods Defence is proud to continue their long association with the Nansen-class frigate. We had the honour of designing and building the original five sonar domes with the first of class being delivered in 2004.

“This award reinforces Tods’ standing as the leading supplier of sonar domes with experience in supporting the world’s most prestigious programmes, including the DDG1000 (USA), P28 (India) and Type 26 (BAE Systems).”

Built by Navantia of Spain, the five vessels are HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (F 310), Roald Amundsen (F 311), Otto Sverdrup (F 312), Helge Ingstad (F 313) and Thor Heyerdahl (F 314).

"The frigates have an overall length of 133.25m and fully loaded displacement capacity of 5,130t."

Named in honour of famous Norwegian explorers, the frigates have an overall length of 133.25m and fully loaded displacement capacity of 5,130t. They can accommodate a crew of 120, with a total capacity to carry 146 personnel.

The first vessel was launched from Navantia’s Ferrol shipyard in June 2004 and entered service with the Norwegian Navy in 2006.

The frigates feature an integrated weapons system from Lockheed Martin based on the Aegis combat system. Thales Underwater Systems is the prime contractor for the sonar suite installed on the frigates.

Currently, a Lean Sonar Dome manufacturing facility is being built by Tods Defence at its site in Portland, UK.

The manufacturing plant will begin operations in early next year, according to the company.