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US searches for variable depth sonar options on Constellation-class frigate

11th February 2022 - 10:43 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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Rendering of the USN FFG 62 guided missile frigate design. (Photo: USN)

The future Constellation-class frigate requires a variable-depth sonar to locate submarines, UUVs and other subsurface threats.

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on 7 February released an RfI on potential sources for a mature, fielded variable-depth sonar (VDS) system that could equip the in-development Constellation-class frigate (FFG 62) for the USN.

The RfI from NAVSEA reads: ‘The Constellation-class guided-missile frigate (FFG 62) is a highly capable and survivable multi-mission ship designed for operations in blue water and littoral environments.

‘The FFG 62 class requires a VDS System that can operate in challenging environments with the capability to detect, locate, and identify a broad range of submarines, unmanned underwater vehicles, and other underwater objects.’

The potential alternative VDS solution must meet an In-Yard Need Date of November 2023 for ship installation.

The VDS must reach Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 9, having proven its reliable performance in an operational environment.

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