The need for a more capable Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) sensor for the Type 23 Frigate to replace the Sonar 2031 passive towed array is driven by the noise quietening advances in the construction both of SSNs (Nuclear Propelled Attack Submarines) and SSKs (Conventionally Propelled Attack Submarines).
The Staff Target for a fully integrated, variable
depth, towed active and passive sonar system, designated S2087, to
counter current and future SSN and SSK threats was approved in April
Sonar 2087 also incorporates a passive array, as passive sonar detection of submarines remains an important ASW tenet. This array must be stored and handled using the space currently occupied by the Sonar 2031 winch and will feature digital telemetry rather than the current analogue system.
The active and passive modes are capable of independent streaming, recovery and operation and will facilitate easy transition between the two, such that uninterrupted operations can be achieved with the chosen mode while the other is streamed or recovered. Both the receive and transmit arrays are independently deployable to their optimum operating depths in order to provide the best possible sonar performance commensurate with the prevailing oceanographic conditions.
Sonar 2087 will be able to operate in a wide range of environments from the deep blue ocean to littoral and from tropical through temperate to arctic waters. It is possible to deploy and recover the active and passive outboard systems in sea conditions up to sea state 6. Both systems are also capable of operation up to the maximum operating sea state of the Type 23 Frigate. Sonar 2087 should not be affected by electrical storms or lightening strike. In addition, the operation of the active towed body and the passive array should be unimpaired up to normal cruising speed. All arrays are designed to survive up to the maximum designed speed of the towing unit/vessel.
The Sonar 2087 suite will be designed to integrate with the existing T23 Sonar 2050 bow mounted sonar, the future Surface Ship Torpedo Defence system and the T23 Command System (DNA(1)) via a Combat System Highway. It should require no increase in manning over that currently required for Sonar 2031 and the extensive use of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) hardware, re-use of software and the imposition of ILS disciplines should ensure reduced Whole Life Costs.
COSTS / IN-SERVICE DATE (ISD) / MAJOR MILESTONES / QUANTITIES
Project Resource Cost Summary at out-turn prices to the nearest £10M: £340M VAT Inc estimated acquisition cost. A total of 16 sets are planned to be produced, 12 of which are full sea-based sets. The remaining four are shore based part sets for: a Shore Integration Facility; a contractor reference set; and an assumed maximum of two sets for the training of both operators and maintainers.
In-Service Date (ISD) is the date at which the equipment achieves Initial Acceptance and is planned for May 2006. This will be followed by the achievement of Initial Operating Capability, planned for Jan 2007.