US Navy Receives Stealth Sub Detector Sonar

Thales subsidiary Advanced Acoustic Concepts (AAC) has delivered the first CAPTAS-4 variable-depth sonar for the US Navy’s Constellation-class guided-missile frigates.

Prime contractor Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) awarded the contract in May 2022 after the navy ended Raytheon’s AN/SQS-62 variable-depth sonar development, which was to originally equip the Constellation class.

The AN/SQS-62 could not be integrated with the Freedom-class littoral combat ship, the Constellation’s predecessor, due to problems with hydrodynamic stability and transducer reliability.

Ready for Installation

The system is ready to be installed on the first Constellation-class vessel, the FFG-62, after being delivered ahead of schedule on October 12, 2023.

The contract comprises the delivery of two CAPTAS-4 sonars and up to eight additional CAPTAS-4 transmitter assemblies, with the AAC planning to finish the construction of a new CAPTAS production facility in April.

Tracks Stealth Subs

Widely used by navies for anti-submarine warfare, the CAPTAS-4 will help the Constellation-class frigates detect, locate, classify, and track increasingly stealthy submarines.

Some of the anti-submarine warfare frigates currently equipped with CAPTAS-4 include the Royal Navy Type 23 and Type 26 class, the French Navy FREMM and FDI class, the Spanish F110s, and Italian FREMMs.

“Thales is a long-time supplier of advanced and capable ASW systems to the US Navy and major US prime contractors,” Thales Underwater Systems VP Gwendoline Blandin-Roger said.

“With this new contract for the delivery of CAPTAS-4 variable depth sonar, they are once again demonstrating the performance of our acoustic systems and renewing their confidence in our teams.”

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