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Thales expands sonar offering to equip small surface combatants

Captas-1. Photo: Thales Group.

PARIS (BNS): French multinational Company Thales has launched a new range of compact sonars for surface combatants and patrol vessels displacing 300 tonnes or more, at Euronaval 2014.

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, the Company said.

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, it said.

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[1] capability with high levels of performance and dependability at lower cost.

Thales BlueWatcher is 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.

Captas-1 is 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 said.


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