TLFAS – a Fully Canadian Solution
Ultra in Nova Scotia, Canada, has received a contract to commence work on the Towed Low Frequency Active Sonar (TLFAS) variable depth sonar (VDS) for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) programme, the company announced on 3 February.
The subcontract moves development of CSC’s ASW capability from the programme definition phase into full manufacture and delivery of the sonar suite. TLFAS is optimised for detection and tracking of stealthy submarines in challenging ocean environments. When delivered, it will represent a step-change in Canada’s ASW assets, providing a level of sonar capability never before enjoyed by the Royal Canadian Navy.
Fully designed and manufactured in Canada, TLFAS also includes components built by other Canadian companies across several provinces. Its selection for CSC therefore means that Canadian industrial content is maximised in the delivery of the initial systems, and that the skillsets and facilities required to maintain the system through its operational life are also resident in Canada.
More broadly, Ultra’s work on the CSC programme is proving to be an important vector for growth of Canadian jobs, innovation and investment. In the two years since having been originally awarded programme definition studies for CSC, working in close partnership with Lockheed Martin Canada and Irving Shipbuilding, Ultra’s Canadian team has grown by over 150 employees, with another 80 high-tech roles expected to be made available in 2021 alone.
The programme is also triggering major Canadian investment decisions by Ultra in terms of facilities, inward technology transfer and research partnerships, which will be announced later this year.
Bernard Mills, President of Ultra Maritime Sonar Systems, commented: “Ultra recognises our responsibility to provide, through CSC, the highest possible level of ASW capability to the Royal Canadian Navy [the contract] is grounded in Canadian innovation and ingenuity, and […] will be an enduring driver of both operational capability and national industrial benefit. Most importantly, this is not just a success for Ultra but is one for the entire CSC enterprise.”