Euronaval: Thales unveils new compact sonars
Thales announced at Euronaval on 27 October that it has introduced a range of new compact sonars to meet the underwater threat detection and deterrence requirements of smaller vessels.
The sonars - which include a hull-mounted sonar called the Thales BlueWatcher, and an associated towed array sonar called the Captas-1 - have been introduced in response to growing demand as nations expand their fleets of patrol vessels and corvettes to defend their sovereign interests in territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones.
The compact and modular sonars will equip surface combatants and patrol vessels displacing 300 tonnes or more, providing an initial Anti-Submarine Warfare capability for low-intensity missions.
The Thales BlueWatcher is a compact hull-mounted plug-and-play sonar based on the same technology as the FLASH dipping sonar for helicopters in service with the US Navy, the UK Royal Navy and the French Navy.
As the latest addition to the Captas family, Captas-1 has a single ceramic ring configuration, and uses the same technological building blocks as the Captas-2 and Captas-4 low-frequency variable-depth sonars in service with several NATO countries. The lightweight Captas-1 has an all-electric reeling system for ease of deployment from smaller vessels.
The new offerings will enable vessels of all types to carrying sonar systems – previously only carried by front-line warships deployed as part of a larger naval or carrier group on anti-submarine warfare missions.
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