Forecast International sees an increase in S-Cube sonar sales in the nuclear-powered submarine market
Based on the procurement of submarine platforms and the sonars selected to equip them, Forecast International’s market forecast for sonars predicts that older generation Eledone (technology-based) sonars, such as Thales’ TSM-2233, are being phased out. Newer sonars, such as Thales’ S-Cube and UMS-3000, are instead replacing them.
As an increasing number of nuclear-powered submarines are built across multiple navies, it appears that the S-Cube sonar in particular has become available for export to equip such boats. The requirements for sonars on nuclear-powered submarines differ from those for sonars on diesel-electrics.
The S-Cube, which was launched in 2006, has already been contracted by three navies: the Brazilian Navy, which ordered four systems for its future Scorpene; the Indian Navy, with six systems for its P75 programme; and, an unnamed South American Navy, which ordered two systems. Amongst its main characteristics, the S-Cube provides permanent safety with 360° coverage, acoustic advantage obtained through a multi-sensor view, it is a flexible solution that can go on a newly built platform or a refit programme, and it reduces operator workload.
The market report continues indicating that in the coming years we are likely to see a production total of two or three units per year through 2019 and, subsequently, one unit per year through 2022. Taking into consideration continued progress in sonar technologies, no production has currently been forecast beyond 2022.