KraitArray (actual size) on SEA stand at DSEI 2019
Naval News reports,
“SEA, the UK’s defence and security electronic system specialist, has completed successful trials of its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) thin line towed array, KraitArray, in the English Channel – proving its exceptional sensing performance in small vessels.”
This seems to be another example of an ASW system being marketed for unmanned vessels that might also be used on cutters if the need should arise.
The company’s brochure does in fact specifically mention patrol craft and OPVs that are unable to accommodate full size towed arrays. In addition to the towed array, they also make active sonar systems, acoustic decoys, and light weight torpedo launchers.
A towed array might also be a good way to search for low profile smuggling vessels that have a minimal visual and radar cross section.
Naval News Reports, Israeli defense contractor, Elbit Systems has been awarded contracts totaling about $56M to provide ASW capabilities to an unnamed Asia-Pacific country (my guess, the Philippines).
Elbit Systems will provide the Seagull™ USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels) configured to perform ASW missions and the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS) systems. The Seagull USVs will integrate Helicopter/Ship Long-Range Active Sonars (HELRAS) and will be equipped with the Company’s autonomous suite, Combat Management System and Satellite Communication capability. The TRAPS systems, which will be installed onboard the customer’s corvettes, are low frequency variable-depth-sonars intended for detection, tracking and classification of submarines, midget submarines, surface vessels and torpedoes.
I love to see this stuff because it means there are ASW systems out there that are appropriate for cutters from the largest down to relatively small.
Using helicopter style dipping sonars on surface vessels is not new. The Soviets built a number of corvettes that used this approach (Petya, Mirka, and Koni classes), but the dipping sonars have gotten much better since then.
We have talked about TRAPS before:
HELRES, Helicopter Long Range Active Sonar, is a product of L3Harris, headquartered in Melbourne, FL.
Elbit Systems’ Seagull unmanned surface vessel. I do love this photo because it shows that even a very small vessel can launch light weight torpedoes.