Thales and Leonardo to Support with FLASH SONICS Sonar
Thales is to supply four Folding Light Acoustic System for Helicopters (FLASH) SONICS dipping sonars to the Polish Navy to update its ASW capabilities, the company announced on 17 September.
FLASH has become one of the leading systems in the international dipping sonar market, according to the company, providing a first-rate level of protection that is recognised by a significant number of navies, including those of Australia, France, Norway, the Philippines, Sweden, South Korea, the UAE, UK and US and now Poland. To date, over 400 FLASH systems have been delivered to a dozen navies around the world.
The key benefits of this low-frequency wideband sonar include long-range detection with broad sector coverage and low false alarm rates in both open ocean and littoral waters. Associated with an active and passive sonobuoy processing system, FLASH SONICS provides an unparalleled ASW capability. Initially designed for heavy helicopters such as the MERLIN AW101 from Leonardo, chosen by the Polish Navy, the system is also available in a compact version equipped with an electric motor for lighter helicopters such as the AW159.
Thales and Leonardo have worked jointly with local industry partners, including the Polish aerospace and defence equipment manufacturer WZL1 and the Gdansk University of Technology (GUT), to meet the customer’s requirements. This cooperation demonstrates Thales’ commitment and ability to build and maintain long-term partnerships with local players. GUT and WZL1 will benefit from transfers of technology for sonar maintenance on this programme.
“The FLASH system has been proven in operational deployments with numerous navies, making it a formidable threat for all types of submarines. It is an important instrument of operational superiority for our client navies in their anti-submarine warfare operations,” commented Alexis Morel, VP, Underwater Systems at Thales.