The Royal Navy (RN) Type 23 frigate HMS Portland has become the first ship of its class to be fitted with the Ultra’s Sonar 2150 next-generation hull-mounted medium-frequency sonar. Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems was in late 2014 awarded a GBP27 million (USD33 million) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to deliver the Sonar 2050 Technology Refresh (S2050TR) programme. The sonar has been designed by Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems and will replace the legacy Sonar Type 2050, which has been in the Royal Navy service since the 1990s.
The Ultra’s Sonar 2150 incorporates a state of the art User Interface to improve operator effectiveness and usability. The digital control of the outboard array minimises interference, reduces ships cabling, maximises reliability and extends array maintenance intervals to at least 5 years. The sonar will be fitted to eight of the Royal Navy Type 23 frigates (comprising Kent , Northumberland, Portland, Richmond, Somerset, St Albans, Sutherland , and Westminster ). Ultra has also been awarded the contract to supply this sonar to the first three Royal Navy Type 26 frigates currently under construction.
The Sonar 2150 replaces both the current outboard (array) and inboard (electronics cabinets and dual operator display console) Sonar 2050 subsystems. The new system provides active and passive ASW surveillance and classification, automatic torpedo detection, mine and obstacle avoidance, and automatic marine mammal detection. Key features include a digitised array, a significant rationalisation of inboard electronics, and a modern, intuitive human machine interface to improve operator productivity and ease training requirements. The Sonar 2150 system has also been selected for the Type 26-derived Global Combat Ship variants selected for Australia (Hunter class) and Canada (Canadian Surface Combatant).
As part of Ultra’s ‘Sea Searcher’ sonar range, Ultra has also developed two smaller and lighter weight variants of the Type 2150 Hull Mount Sonar for naval vessels up to 1,000 tonnes and 2,000 tonnes respectively. With state-of-the-art in-board processing and innovative user displays, this family of sonar systems provides a potent Anti-Submarine Warfare capability for patrol vessels, frigates and other vessels worldwide. Ultra Electronics Holdings is a sub-system and systems provider operating across defence, security, critical detection & control markets. Ultra is a British company serving the defence, security, critical detection & control markets.