If the Coast Guard should ever again decide it needs a submarine detection capability, there may be a way to add it to vessels as small as the 87 ft WPBs.
The Navy is currently fielding a new version of it’s ASW helicopter, the MH-60R, and it’s new dipping sonar is proving much more effective than it’s predecessor. The complete sonar system can weigh less than 600 pounds.
The Soviets also used dipping sonars, but not just on helicopters. They used them on small surface craft as well. These vessels would work in teams using a sprint and drift tactic.
The same transducer might also be hull mounted with relatively little impact. There is also the possibility that with relatively minor modifications it could be made into a towed variable depth sonar. A combination of hull mounted transducer and variable depth sonar working off the same console could offer some advantages.
Certainly not very effective for chasing nucs, and I’m not suggesting we need a big program to look for Narco subs, but, should the need arise, it could be work against the ultra quiet but slow moving diesel electric subs that might lurk in the high noise areas of the littorals.