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Thales to provide integrated sonar for Spanish Navy’s new multi-mission frigates

Thales sonars and acoustic systems will provide the Spanish Navy’s five F110 frigates with a latest-generation anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability.

Thales sonars and acoustic systems will provide the Spanish Navy’s five F110 frigates with a latest-generation anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability.

The Directorate-General for Armament and Materiel (DGAM) and the naval shipyard Navantia have selected Thales technologies for the Spanish Navy's five new multi-mission frigates.

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The vessels' ASW capability, based on two world-class sonars, the CAPTAS-4 Compact and the BlueMaster, and the BlueScan digital acoustic system, will be integrated through Navantia combat management system SCOMBA F110 and will enable the service to conduct maritime surveillance, search and protection missions in any theatre of operations.

Alexis Morel, vice president of underwater systems at Thales, welcomed the announcement: "After two years of talks with the Spanish Navy and Navantia about this contract to equip five F110 frigates, we welcome Spain's decision to join other NATO countries (the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Norway) and Australia in placing their trust in Thales for their anti-submarine warfare capabilities."

To protect their maritime territory and security interests around the world, states need to counter all types of threats in any environment or theatre of operations. Naval forces need reliable, high-performance systems to assert national sovereignty and accomplish their ASW missions with optimum effect.

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The choice of Thales technologies, which have been extensively proven in service with navies around the world, provides the highest levels of protection available today.

"To help their naval forces conduct their missions in today's heightened underwater threat environment, Thales has invested for many years in Australia, France and the United Kingdom to develop a unique set of digital sonar data processing and analytics technologies," Morel added. 

BlueScan is a collaborative ASW solution that processes significantly higher volumes of sonar data from various different platforms to provide the operator with a complete overview of the acoustic situation in real time.

The solution leverages big data analytics and artificial intelligence technologies to bring naval forces a tactical advantage.

"Given the complexity of the underwater environment and the level of sophistication of the adversary, digitalisation and data fusion techniques are the only effective way to counter undersea threats in the 21st century," Morel said.

Under this contract, key underwater acoustics technology will be transferred to Spanish industry, in particular for the supply of the TUUM-6 digital underwater communication system and acoustic arrays.

Morel added, "With our Spanish partners, and with Navantia in particular, we are very pleased to have the opportunity to strengthen our cooperation on this program, in which local industry will play a significant role in producing, integrating and maintaining the systems alongside the Spanish Navy."

Thales provides solutions, services and products to customers in the aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security, and defence markets. With 80,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2018 (on a pro forma basis including Gemalto).

Thales is investing in particular in digital innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence and cyber security technologies that support businesses, organisations and governments in their decisive moments

Thales to provide integrated sonar for Spanish Navy’s new multi-mission frigates
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