The Royal Navy has accepted the delivery of Thales UK’s new and advanced 2093 Wideband variant of mine countermeasures (MCM) sonar following successful completion of intensive sea trials.
Integrated on to the UK Navy’s Sandown-class minehunters, the 2093 variable depth sonar system is the primary component of the service’s MCM capability.
Thales UK developed the upgraded 2093 Wideband variant under the 2093 Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP) for the Royal Navy.
Royal Navy Headquarters, Portsmouth mine warfare specialist lieutenant commander Kev Giles said: “The picture the sonar provides the operator is much clearer, the detection range is much greater and it should only detect physical objects, rocks, debris, mines, and not be tricked by noise.”
The improved variant of the sonar technology offered a significant enhancement in threat recognition capability and range of the system.
Over the past few months, the new sonar system underwent a 12-week long sea acceptance trial on the Royal Navy’s Sandown-class vessel HMS Grimsby in the BUTEC test ranges off the coast of Scotland.
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Thales UK 2093 CSP project manager Nathan Noall said: “Getting the sea acceptance trials done on this ‘first of class’ ship is a huge plus.
“The trials weren’t without challenge but we’ve ultimately come up with a system that’s been accepted by the Royal Navy and 2093 CSP delivers on all they’ve asked for.”
The 2093 Wideband variant is a multi-frequency variable depth sonar system that has been designed to counter the threats posed by modern mines in both deep and shallow water.
Since it was built in the 1980s, the 2093 variable depth sonar has been used in operational service with different naval forces across the world.
The other six Sandown-class vessels are slated to be equipped with the 2093 Wideband sonar at the Royal Navy dockyard in Rosyth.