Leidos continues developing acoustic countermeasure to act as torpedo decoys to protect U.S. submarines

Nov. 11, 2021
This torpedo countermeasure will generate noise to deceive the sonar guidance systems of incoming torpedoes that are homing-in on U.S. submarines.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy undersea warfare experts are asking Leidos Inc. in Reston, Va., to continue development of an advanced active acoustic countermeasure to help defend U.S. and allied submarine forces against modern acoustic-homing torpedoes.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $9.4 million order to Leidos on Monday to continue designing, building, and testing an acoustic device countermeasure (ADC) called the ADC MK 5.

This torpedo-defense countermeasure will generate noise to deceive the sonar guidance systems of incoming torpedoes that are homing-in on the sounds of the target submarines, as well as the acoustic returns of active sonar pings.

This project calls for Leidos to design and develop ADC MK 5 torpedo defense developmental devices, as well as provide technical and non-recurring engineering services, This includes software and hardware development. The contract has options that could increase its value to $36.1 million.

Related: Navy orders shipboard torpedo defense systems to protect surface warships from enemy attack

The ADC MK 5 project is part of the Navy's Next-Generation Countermeasure (NGCM) program to replace existing ADC MK 3 submarine acoustic countermeasures systems.

The ADC MK 5 is to be a 3-inch-diameter expendable device that submarines launch from external launchers have advanced features that submarines can employ as static or mobile devices with adaptive countermeasure (ACM) technology.

The project for Leidos is a follow-on to research contracts awarded in late 2010 to Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems in Braintree, Mass., and to the Argon ST subsidiary of the Boeing Co. in Fairfax, Va., to develop the Navy's NGCM anti-torpedo submarine defense system.

Related: Navy researchers survey industry for underwater acoustic projector for LCS torpedo defense

The NGCM ADC MK 5 will have acoustic communications links to connect separate countermeasures devices to enable group behavior to defeat incoming torpedoes. It will be launched in-groups of as many six units -- some of which will act as stationary broadcast jammers, while others will be mobile and function as sophisticated torpedo decoys.

The ADC MK 5 countermeasures will have receivers that can operate in full duplex mode, and an acoustic communication link will pass tactical information and updates among the deployed countermeasures, submarines, and surface ships.

The ADC MK 5 will be re-programmable to operate together with U.S. and allied torpedoes or anti-torpedo systems, and will be able to change tactics in response to changing tactical or environmental conditions via the acoustic communication link.

Related: Navy chooses Argon ST to build eight additional shipboard torpedo-defense decoys

The countermeasures will have advanced tactical embedded processors and a built-in threat torpedo classifier. The system's new technologies will include mobile countermeasure operations and tactics; acoustic communications; group behavior and the ability to work against incoming torpedoes cooperatively; the ability to classify incoming torpedoes; full-duplex receive and transmit sensor capability; and single-crystal transducers.

The NGCM program seeks to insert new countermeasure technologies into submarine defenses against threat acoustic-homing torpedoes. On this order Leidos will do the work in Reston, Va., and should be finished by November 2022.

For more information contact Leidos online at www.leidos.com, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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