Babcock Defence Systems and America’s Lockheed Martin have agreed to collaborate on the Royal Navy’s Sonar 2087 project, the companies announced at this week’s Undersea Defence Technology exhibition in London.
The contract, now in its project definition phase, could be worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
Babcock and Lockheed Martin are competing with a team led by Thomson Marconi Sonar.
Sonar 2087 will be a low-frequency, active and passive sonar with a towed array which would be streamed behind a warship. The sonar will be fitted to the navy’s 16 Type 23 frigates at their mid-life refits after the turn of the century.
Babcock Defence Systems is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Babcock Facilities Management, the owner and operator of Rosyth Royal Dockyard, which will in any case carry out the first refit of a Type 23 with Sonar 2087.
Lockheed Martin is expected to bring to the project technology from its SQQ 89 anti-submarine warfare system, as fitted to US Navy warships, as well as its existing low-frequency active sonar capabilities.