Submarine returns to fleet with upgraded Thales sonar
HMS Trenchant, the Royal Navy's (RN’s) most capable and up-to-date Trafalgar-class nuclear-powered hunter-killer submarine (SSN), has been ceremonially welcomed back into the operational fleet this month with upgraded state-of-the-art sonar from Thales.
Sonar 2076 Stage 5 represents a world-class sonar capability for the Royal Navy...”
As part of a major refit programme that started in late 2009, the submarine has been fitted with Thales’s world-class Sonar 2076 Stage 5 system, and additional upgrades such as Tomahawk cruise missile capability. A ceremony at Devonport marked the boat’s return to service.
Previously fitted with 2076 Stage 4, the upgrade to the new Stage 5 system ensures that Sonar 2076 retains its reputation as the world’s most advanced, fully integrated, passive/active search and attack sonar suite.
Fleet submarines (Trafalgar and Astute class) combine qualities of stealth, endurance and flexibility. Operating on a global basis, these high-speed boats are used by the RN for high-intensity missile strikes, anti submarine and surface unit warfare, surveillance, and inshore and beach reconnaissance.
Thales UK was awarded a contract to upgrade three additional Trafalgar-class and three Astute-class submarines with the Stage 5 system by BAE Systems in February 2010. Once all the work is completed, 2076 Stage 5 will be fully deployed across the RN’s SSN fleet.
The Stage 5 inboard replacement programme is the latest in a series of developments to improve the capability, efficiency and through-life cost of the sonar system. The upgrade also delivers an open architecture that allows a high degree of commonality with the Astute and Vanguard-class replacement (Successor) submarines, and supports the MoD’s vision for the evolution of a common sonar and combat system across the RN submarine flotilla.
Phil Naybour, head of Thales UK’s naval business, says: “We welcome the news that HMS Trenchant has re-entered operational service. Sonar 2076 Stage 5 represents a world-class sonar capability for the Royal Navy and we look forward to working closely with our partners to upgrade the remaining Trafalgar- and Astute-class submarines.”
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About Thales and Thales UK
Thales is a global technology leader for the defence & security and the aerospace & transport markets. In 2010 the company generated revenues of £11.2 billion (€13.1 billion), with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 22,500 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an excep¬tional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.
Thales UK employs 8,000 staff based at 35 locations. In 2010 Thales UK's revenues were around £1.5 billion.