Curtiss-Wright designs and manufactures variable depth sonar handling systems, towed line array handling systems, towed bodies, sonar domes, Flexnose fairings, and mine countermeasures for naval applications.

These products are designed to support a range of depth requirements and vessel sizes in all sea state conditions.

Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) Handling Systems for low, medium and high-frequency sonars

Curtiss-Wright manufactures a variety of variable depth handling systems for low, medium and high-frequency sonars for navies throughout the world. As part of the Indal Underwater Sensor Handling Systems product line, the VDS handling systems are designed to meet a wide range of depth requirements and vessel sizes – from fast patrol craft to destroyers. Curtiss-Wright maintains an extensive database of real-world towing performance information and field-proven equipment designs.

Indal turnkey VDS towing systems are comprised of hydro-dynamically stable, acoustically transparent towed bodies, a body launch and recovery mechanism, tow winch, hydraulic power unit and controls. They can be equipped with a Cable Tension Stabilizer (CTS) system and a passive motion compensation system for stabilizing tow cable tension. Active motion compensating systems working in conjunction with a CTS system are also available.

TRAPS (Towed Reelable Active-Passive Sonar) system is intended for the small surface ship and unmanned surface vehicle (USV) market. TRAPS is a low cost, lightweight and high-performance Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) system that is unique and new to the undersea warfare marketplace. The entire system can be packaged and operated from a single 20 ft. standard ISO shipping containers allowing for ease of installation and removal.

Surface and submarine-towed line array handling and stowage system in all weather conditions

Curtiss-Wright’s Indal Towed Line Array Handling and stowage systems are in operation within the Canadian, UK, Dutch and Korean Navies.

For surface ships, these systems enable the deployment and retrieval of the array at high speeds without impeding ship operations. Below-deck installation of the handling and stowage group winch systems provides an all-weather capability.

Curtiss-Wright produces towed line array winch mechanisms designed to deploy and retrieve the array at normal ship operating speeds.

Curtiss-Wright also designs and manufactures Indal Towed Array Handling and Stowage Systems (TAHS) for submarines. Systems were first developed for the Royal Canadian Navy submarines. A number of more advanced fully reelable TAHS have been designed, built, qualified and tested for the new generation Royal Navy ASTUTE Class Submarines and for other non-nuclear submarines. These fail-safe systems employ redundant, automatic features and backup controls to ensure submarine safety and manoeuvrability.

Towed bodies

These sensor platforms provide a 360º acoustic window in the horizontal plane. Varying in size from 4.5 to 18 feet (1.37 to 5.49 meters) and made from steel or composite material, Indal Technologies towed bodies are acoustically transparent and provide a stable hydrodynamic platform for sonar operations.

The hydrodynamic design of Indal towed bodies minimizes drag and motion during towing.

Sonar domes

Curtiss-Wright’s Indal sonar domes are a double-skin design, offering strength, low weight, long life, low attenuation and low flow noise as well as reduced maintenance costs. The domes are functional in conditions up to sea state 9 and maximum ship speeds. An electromechanical hoist allows the transducer to be raised into the ship for maintenance and protection, and lowered into the dome for sonar operations.

Fairings and cables

One of the key components of any towing system is the tow cable. Reducing drag is critical to attaining the maximum possible depth at minimum cable length.


For applications when speed and depth are crucial, the Indal Flexnose fairings have a demonstrated record of high performance. Flexnose fairings are the lowest drag coefficient fairings commercially available and are used by numerous navies and leading oceanographic institutions and companies.

Mine countermeasures

Curtiss-Wright engineers and manufactures a range of naval mine-countermeasures products, including versatile mine hunting sonar launch and recovery handling systems as well as remotely operated vehicles are key components of many mine-countermeasures programs.