The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract to Thales to deliver FLASH SONICS dipping sonar and sonobuoy processing systems.

The systems will be installed on the German Navy’s NH90 multi-role frigate helicopter (MRFH) to boost the service’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability.

About 31 MRFHs are being procured by the navy to conduct ASW, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue operations and more.

Details about the contract value and the number of systems have not been disclosed. German Bundeswehr is a member of NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA).

A low frequency wideband dipping sonar, FLASH stands for Folding Light Acoustic System for Helicopters and the SONICS variant is an integrated system.

It is a combination of FLASH or Compact FLASH featuring Thales BlueTracker sonobuoy processing system.

According to Thales, the German Navy’s NH90 MRFH will be the first helicopter to be equipped with SonoFlash buoy coupled with the FLASH dipping sonar.

The sonar offers users key benefits, such as long-range threat detection and low false alarm rates in open oceans and littoral waters.

Thales Underwater systems managing director Gwendoline Blandin-Roger said: “We are proud to have been selected by the German Navy and NHIndustries to equip their NH90 Multi Role Frigate Helicopter with our FLASH SONICS anti-submarine solutions.

“This is the result of many years of hard work to meet our customers’ requirements and provide them with a trusted solution that meets their needs.

“The German Navy will receive the most capable variant of FLASH SONICS that Thales has ever delivered, for the best operational service, including the SonoFlash processing.”

To date, more than 500 FLASH-based systems have been ordered or delivered and are operational with 18 navies around the world.

Last month, Rohde & Schwarz was awarded a contract to provide radio systems for the German Navy NH90 MRFH units.