Navy asks Lockheed Martin to build towed-array sonar systems for Navy surface warships

WASHINGTON, 2 May 2016. U.S. Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) experts are adding towed-array sonar systems to the fleet to enable surface warships to hunt and attack quiet enemy submarines lurking at a variety of ocean depths.

May 2nd, 2016
Towed-array sonar for Navy surface warships
Towed-array sonar for Navy surface warships
WASHINGTON, 2 May 2016. U.S. Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) experts are adding towed-array sonar systems to the fleet to enable surface warships to hunt and attack quiet enemy submarines lurking at a variety of ocean depths.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command on Friday announced a $45 million contract modification to the Lockheed Martin Corp. Mission Systems and Training segment in Liverpool, N.Y., to build TB-37/U Multi-Function Towed Array (MFTA) sonar systems.

The contract also calls for Lockheed Martin to provide tow cables, electro-optical slip rings, drogues, shipping products, and performance of engineering services in support of the AN/SQQ-89 ASW system for surface warships.

The TB-37U, part of the AN/SQQ-89(V) undersea warfare/anti-submarine warfare combat system, is a next-generation passive and active sonar receiver configured as a long 3-inch-diameter array that can be towed behind surface ships. It is for Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, Ticonderoga-class cruisers, the Littoral Combat Ship, and Zumwalt-class land-attack destroyer.

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The TB-37U helps surface warships detect, pinpoint, and attack enemy submarines. To build it, Lockheed Martin is collaborating with L3 Chesapeake Science Corp. in Millersville, Md.

The TB-37U MFTA is an active and passive sonar. It can remain silent and simply listen for the sounds of enemy submarines, or it can ping active to bounce sound off the hulls of submarines in the area.

The TB-37U can operate at a variety of depths to enable surface warships to detect and localize enemy submarines attempting to hide in different ocean layers of varying temperatures and salinity. Ocean layers sometimes can bend sound signals and deceive sonar.

The TB-37/U MFTA is the next generation passive and active sonar receiver. It affords several enhancements to the AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array System allowing greater coverage, increased capability and reliability, and reduced obsolescence, Navy officials say.

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The TB-37/U MFTA significantly contributes to the capability of surface ships to detect, localize, and prosecute undersea threats and is a critical sensor to a combat systems suite.

This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy and the government of Japan (27 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Lockheed Martin will do the work in Liverpool, N.Y., and Marion, Mass., and should be finished by September 2018.

For more information contact Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training online at www.lockheedmartin.com/us/mst, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

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