Thales has been selected to provide an integrated sonar suite for the Spanish Navy’s five new F110 multi-mission frigates.

Navantia and Spain’s General Directorate for Armament and Material (DGAM) have awarded a contract to Thales to provide sonars and acoustic systems for the frigates.

The technologies will provide the ships with advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability and self-protection against torpedo threats.

The integrated suite includes the TUUM-6 underwater communication system, the BlueMaster (UMS 4110) and CAPTAS 4 Compact sonars, and the BlueScan digital acoustic system.

The systems will be integrated into Navantia’s SCOMBA combat management system that will be fitted into the F110 frigates.

BlueScan ASW uses artificial intelligence and big data analytics. It is designed to provide a full picture of the acoustic situation in real-time.

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According to Thales, the contract includes a provision for the transfer of underwater acoustics technology to Spanish industry for the delivery of the TUUM-6 and acoustic arrays.

Thales Underwater Systems vice-president Alexis Morel said: “Given the complexity of the underwater environment and the level of sophistication of the adversary, digitalisation and data fusion techniques are the only effective way to counter undersea threats in the 21st century.

“With our Spanish partners, and with Navantia in particular, we are very pleased to have the opportunity to strengthen our cooperation on this programme, in which local industry will play a significant role in producing, integrating and maintaining the systems alongside the Spanish Navy.”

Navantia signed a contract in April for the construction of five F110s for the Spanish Navy.

The new ships will be built at the company’s Ferrol shipyard in Spain.

The frigates will feature an advanced design to support the integration of unmanned vehicles onboard and accommodate directed energy weapons in future.

The SCOMBA system also includes sensors and weapon systems from Indra, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract last week to equip the frigates with AN/SPY-7(V)1 solid-state S-band radar.