Russia employing mile-long sonar towed arrays on unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) to hunt U.S. submarines

July 30, 2021
Navy is pursuing UUV towed-array sonar, and Boeing and Lockheed Martin are developing designs for the Orca Extra Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle.

MOSCOW – Russia is working on a new trick to track American submarines: sonar-equipped unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The National Interest reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

30 July 2021 -- Russia is testing UUVs equipped with sonar towed arrays, according to the newspaper Izvestia. Attached to long, flexible tethers more than a mile long, towed sonar transmitters and receivers are far enough from the noise of the towing surface ship that they suffer less interference.

The downside is that like a car towing a U-Haul trailer, the towing ship moves more slowly and has to maneuver more carefully to avoid snapping the tether. So why not attach the sonar and tether to a remote-controlled underwater robot that can operate detached from the mother ship, which can enjoy the advantages of a towed array without being hampered by it?

Externally, the towing robot resembles a small submarine with a keel and several depth rudders, Russian Navy officials told Izvestia. It is located at the end of the antenna and adjusts the depth of its immersion, as well as if necessary, taxiing during the maneuvers of the ship.

Related: Leidos gets Navy go-ahead to fabricate TRAPS deep-ocean sonar system prototypes for anti-submarine warfare (ASW)

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

Related: Raytheon to upgrade sonar systems in towed mine-hunting remotely operated vehicle

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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