Lockheed Martin to build anti-submarine warfare (ASW) towed-array sonar systems for surface warships

WASHINGTON – 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.

Lockheed Martin to build anti-submarine warfare (ASW) towed-array sonar systems for surface warships
Lockheed Martin to build anti-submarine warfare (ASW) towed-array sonar systems for surface warships
WASHINGTON – 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 $42 million order to the Lockheed Martin Corp. Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Liverpool, N.Y., to build TB-37/U Multi-Function Towed Array (MFTA) sonar systems. The contract modification also calls for Lockheed Martin to provide accessories, shipping products, and engineering services.

The TB-37U, part of the AN/SQQ-89(V) undersea warfare and 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 warships. It is for Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, Ticonderoga-class cruisers, Independence- and Freedom-class littoral combat ships, and Zumwalt-class land-attack destroyers.

The TB-37U helps Navy surface vessels 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.

Related: L-3 to build six more TB-29A CTA towed array sonar systems for Virginia-class submarines

The TB-37U can operate at a variety of depths to enable surface ships to detect and localize enemy submarines that may be 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.

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. and Japanese navies. Lockheed Martin will do the work in Liverpool, N.Y.; Millersville, Md.; and Marion, Mass., and should be finished by September 2019.

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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