Sonar competition future Dutch and Belgian frigates ongoing
The procurement for hull mounted sonars for the future Anti Submarine Warfare Frigates (ASWF) for the Dutch and Belgian navies, is ongoing. Raytheon and Ultra are two of the companies that have offered their solutions to the Dutch MoD.
Illustration of the future Anti Submarine Warfare Frigate. (Image: DMO)
The Netherlands and Belgium are replacing their current Multipurpose frigates (M-frigates) with the Anti Submarine Warfare Frigate. Both countries will receive two of these frigates, designed by the Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and built by Dutch shipyard Damen.
Hull mounted sonar
Whereas the attention of the defence media has been mainly focused on the above water systems, another interesting competition is going on around one of the underwater sensors; the hull mounted sonar.
Both US company Raytheon as the Canadian Ultra have last night confirmed to Marineschepen.nl that they are offering sonars for the new frigates.
“With a legacy in sonar of over one hundred years, Raytheon Missiles & Defense offers its fifth generation sonar system for surface ships, the Modular Scalable Sonar System (MS3). Building on the highly capable SQS-56 and DE1160 sonars, Raytheon has leveraged improvements in technology from later versions of the DE1160 series and US Navy’s ZUMWALT-class destroyer sonar suite to provide a scalable sonar system”, a spokesperson told Marineschepen.nl.
Ultra revealed their offer as well: “The HMS [hull mounted sonar] solution proposed is derived from the world-leading S2150 HMS which are being fitted to UK Type 23 and 26 vessels, Canadian Surface Combatant, and Australian Hunter Class frigates.”
It is rumored that Atlas Elektronik is also offering a hull mounted sonar. It is not known which type, Atlas has the ASO 713 and the ASO 723 in their product portfolio.
It is not yet known whether Thales are offering their UMS 4110 CL (a.k.a. BlueMaster), this sonar was selected for the FREMM-frigates and for the future F110 anti-submarine warfare frigates of the Spanish Navy.
The hull mounted sonar is only one sensor of the complete sonar fit. Apart from the sonars the USVs will receive, the Dutch MoD have already decided that the Low Frequency Active Passive Sonar (LFAPS) will be used on the ASWFs. This system has replaced the Anaconda towed array on the M-frigates, during their modernisation.
LFAPS has been developed by TNO, the Dutch Navy and the Canadian sonar company Ultra.