Polish Navy to equip helicopters with Thales’ Flash Sonics sonars

17 September 2020 (Last Updated September 17th, 2020 15:21)

The Polish Navy has selected Thales to equip its helicopters with four Flash Sonics dipping sonar and sonobuoy processing systems.

Polish Navy to equip helicopters with Thales’ Flash Sonics sonars
Four FLASH SONICS system will be installed on Polish Navy’s helicopters. Credit: Thales Group.

The Polish Navy has selected Thales to equip its helicopters with four Flash Sonics dipping sonar and sonobuoy processing systems.

The Flash system (Folding Light Acoustic System for Helicopters) is a dipping sonar used by major navies.

Apart from the Polish Navy, the system is used by several other international navies, including the US, UK, France, and Australia.

Thales Underwater Systems VP Alexis Morel said: “The FLASH system has been proven in operational deployments with numerous navies, making it a formidable threat for all types of submarines.

“It is an important instrument of operational superiority for our client navies in their anti-submarine warfare operations.”

In order to maintain control of maritime space and safeguard the security interests of all parts of the world, naval forces require reliable and high-performance systems. Such systems can help conduct tasks, such as anti-submarine warfare and sea search and rescue.

The main advantages of this low frequency wideband sonar are long-range detection and low false alarm rates in the open ocean.

The system was originally designed for heavy helicopters, such as the navy’s Merlin AW101 built by Leonardo. It is also available in a compact version with electric motors adapted for light helicopters, such as the AW159.

Thales and Leonardo have partnered with local industry partners, such as WZL1 and the Gdansk University of Technology (GUT), to address the needs of the customer.

GUT and WZL1 will profit from the transfer of sonar maintenance technology.

Morel added: “We are very appreciative of the trust the Polish Navy has placed in us with this new contract in partnership with Leonardo, which further consolidates the group’s world leadership position in anti-submarine warfare systems.”