Leonardo, Ultra, L3 Technologies partner to offer anti-submarine warfare acoustic system

Robert Beattie, from L3 Technologies; Alberto Pietro from Leonardo and Mike Williams from Ultra CSS at the Farnborough Airshow. Photo: Leonardo

Defense technology companies Leonardo, L3 Technologies and Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems have teamed up to offer a “complete” anti-submarine warfare acoustic system.

The system – announced by Leonardo at the Farnborough Airshow 2018 – is based on the company’s new ULISSES (Ultra-LIght SonicS Enhanced System) processor.

The solution offered would include an integrated package with the ULISSES processor and either a dipping sonar provided by L3 or sonobuoys provided by Ultra, or a combination of both.

Leonardo says the integrated system will be trialed for the first time later this year with the complete system available for deliveries in 2020.

A reduction in system weight compared to legacy systems means that ULISSES can be fitted on-board even very small unmanned platforms such as the Leonardo’s own SD-150 Hero rotary-wing aircraft.

As explained, the new system is able to deliver multistatic functionality, where the processor collects data from multiple sonobuoys and combines the information to develop an in-depth picture of the under-sea environment, including detailed location data of any potentially threatening vessels.

Multistatic functionality invented and developed by Ultra is embedded in the ULISSES sonobuoy processor. Currently, Ultra is the only company to provide miniaturized sonobuoys fitted for multistatic operation which are suitable for small UAV applications and Leonardo says it will be the first company to offer a system which makes use of them.

The ULISSES system can also use the very-low-frequency L3 HELRAS dipping sonar as an active source, improving its multistatic performance.

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