Thales to support French Navy NH90 FLASH sonars
Thales has announced that it has been awarded a contract by the NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA), in the name of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), to support 14 FLASH dipping sonars on the French Navy's 27 NH90 NFH helicopters.
The two year contract, announced 25 October, will see Thales conduct an array of on-demand and fixed-fee services delivered on a local basis to ensure a rapid response, and will contribute to the operational readiness of the aircraft.
The French Navy’s FLASH sonar-equipped NH90 NFH helicopters carry out antisubmarine warfare missions in conjunction with the navy's FREMM frigates.
Benoit Plantier, managing director of Thales Underwater Systems, said he was ‘delighted with this success, which is also Thales's first through-life support contract for the NH90 NFH helicopters in service with the French Navy. Drawing on its solid experience in through-life support for anti-submarine warfare systems, Thales is able to offer this type of service for other navies equipped with the FLASH sonar.’
Thales developed the FLASH sonar as the primary anti-submarine warfare sensor system for installation on maritime surveillance helicopters. It was designed to counter the threat of quiet submarines operating either in deep or littoral waters, where reverberation and traffic noise make detection particularly difficult.
The system has been installed on a range of helicopter fleets to date in France (NH90 NFH), the UK (Merlin EH101), Norway (NH90), the US (MH60-R), Sweden (NH90) and the UAE (Cougar).
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