At Euronaval 2014, Thales is announcing the launch of a new range of compact sonars for surface combatants and patrol vessels displacing 300 tonnes or more. Easy to install and operate, the new products include a hull-mounted sonar, the Thales BlueWatcher, and an associated towed array sonar, the Captas-1.
Faced with an increasing number of crisis and territorial conflicts, nations are expanding their fleets of patrol vessels and corvettes to defend their sovereign interests in territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones. This is driving demand for the systems these smaller vessels require to detect and deter underwater threats.
Until now, the only ships equipped with sonars have tended to be front-line warships deployed as part of a larger naval or carrier group on anti-submarine warfare missions. Today, Thales has developed a new range of sonars that are more compact, modular and ready to deploy on low-intensity missions to provide an initial, high added-value ASW capability with high levels of performance and dependability at lower cost.
The new range of sonars includes:
- Thales BlueWatcher, a compact hull-mounted sonar that is easy to install (plug & play) and delivers excellent performance: this new sonar is based on the same technology as the FLASH dipping sonar for helicopters, which is internationally acclaimed for its operational performance and is in service with the US Navy, the UK Royal Navy and the French Navy.
- Captas-1, the latest addition to the Captas family: this single ceramic ring configuration uses the same technological building blocks as the Captas-2 and Captas-4, which are in service with several NATO countries and have made this product family the worldwide benchmark in low-frequency variable-depth sonars. With its all-electric reeling system, the compact, lightweight Captas-1 array is easy to deploy from a smaller vessel.
Thales has developed this high-performance sonar suite specifically for small surface combatants and patrol vessels, demonstrating the company's ability to provide innovative, cost-effective ways for naval forces all over the world to better protect their nations' sovereign interests and achieve an operational advantage over underwater threats. With Thales's expanded offering of high added-value sonar suites, all vessel types can now be equipped with sonar systems that are tailored to their missions and deliver outstanding performance under all weather conditions and in all sea states.