Qinetiq has sold four towed array handling systems (TAHS) to be used with the new S80 class of submarines being built by Navantia for the Spanish Navy. Full-terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The multi-million euro contract will see a significant amount of the work, including much of the manufacture of the systems, carried out by Spanish companies sub-contracted to Qinetiq. The TAHS, which control sonar array systems towed by submarines, will be delivered between 2010 and 2012.
According to Qinetiq, the TAHS, which was developed by Qinetiq’s Underwater Systems business in Winfrith, Dorset, is a compact, robust and effective solution that minimises the impact on other onboard systems. The company believes using an electric drive system, over traditional hydraulic drives, gives many advantages including improved control which will provide reliability, flexibility in installation and reduced through life costs.
Qinetiq claim the contract is a significant milestone as they transform their UK MoD maritime research business to include the development and supply of solutions to the Royal Navy and overseas customers.
The Spanish S80 programme could include up to eight submarines in two batches. The first unit of batch one began construction in 2005 at Navantia’s Cartegena yard. It is scheduled for commissioning in 2013 and will be followed by three additional units through 2016. A second batch could begin by 2014.