Sonar capabilities and solutions


Sonar capabilities and solutions


Sonar Systems

Ultra’s world-leading advanced underwater systems are developed to overcome the unique challenges of the undersea environment.

Our innovative Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS), Towed Array System (TAS) and a unique Integrated Sonar System (ISS) deliver dominance in the underwater battlespace and provide a critical operational advantage to our customers.


Ultra’s broad portfolio of specialist capabilities include:

  • Supply and integration of complex acoustic system both towed and hull mounted
  • Design and manufacture of acoustic components and systems
  • Acoustic countermeasure techniques for torpedo defence
  • Multistatic active processing techniques

Further information can be seen below.

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Sonar Systems capabilities & products

Integrated Sonar Systems (ISS)
Integrated Sonar Systems (ISS) Image

Integrated Sonar Systems (ISS)

Ultra’s game-changing ISS solves the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) problem from all aspects.

Firstly detecting and deterring the submarine threat by using multiple sensors and multiple frequencies simultaneously; then defeating the submarine’s primary weapon by detecting, classifying and localising the heavyweight torpedo; coupled with threat neutralisation through a comprehensive towed and expendable countermeasure suite.

The Integrated Sonar System is a low-cost, high-performance, flexible submarine detection capability combined with state-of-the-art torpedo detection and countermeasure features, through a combination of proven, in-service equipment, high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) elements and Military-and Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (MOTS and COTS) components, integrated within an Open Systems Architecture.

Key components The Integrated Sonar System incorporates the following key elements:

Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS): A dual-frequency Hull Mounted Sonar providing a low-to-medium, multi-frequency capability with active operation, providing both ASW and Mine and Obstacle Avoidance capabilities.

Variable Depth Sonar (VDS): A modular, multi-frequency system incorporating both active transmitters and passive receive array. The system utilises flexible in-line elements which have the additional benefit of minimising vessel impact by saving space and weight whilst still delivering the desired performance.

Torpedo Detection, Classification and Threat Evaluation: A comprehensive sensor-to-countermeasure capability developed by Ultra and currently in service, utilises passive detection with towed and expendable countermeasures. The system includes databases to optimise evasion and survival during engagement.

Multistatic Active Processing: An active and passive sonobuoy processing capability utilising traditional single-buoy processing as well as multistatic processing using multiple buoys for detection, classification and localisation of submarine and torpedo threats.

Integrated multi-sensor sonar processing providing 360º coverage.

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Variable Depth Sonar (VDS)
Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) Image

Variable Depth Sonar (VDS)

Ultra’s new generation of VDS is a single in-line active-transmit and passive-receive array.

In its full specification it can include: an active horizontal projector array, a towed low-frequency source, a flexible, towed torpedo acoustic countermeasure body and a directional receive array.

Ultra’s fully-modular VDS marks a step change in technology and capability, away from the constraints of traditional towed sonars. It needs only a single, lightweight winch, which can be operated by two personnel. Additionally, the low weight and footprint of the VDS allows it to be fitted to vessels not specifically designed for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations.

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Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD)
Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD) Image

Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD)

Ultra is a world-leader in towed torpedo defence systems with operational systems in navies across the world. Drawing on our expertise in active and passive Anti-Submarine (ASW) sonar processing, Ultra has designed a system with automated detection, classification and tracking of ASW threats. 

Ultra’s integrated countermeasure launch system and expendable countermeasures will ensure the survivability of ships and submarines against a range of advanced torpedo threats.

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Submarine Torpedo Defence
Submarine Torpedo Defence Image


- Submarine Torpedo Defence

Ultra’s SEA CRYPSIS provides submarines with advanced torpedo detection, classification and localisation processing capabilities.

The system supplies manoeuvring advice to the platform whilst automatically programming the release of static, mobile and training countermeasures against both lightweight and heavyweight torpedo threats. The sophisticated and effective torpedo detection system enables automatic, semi-automatic and manual countermeasure release.

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Acoustic Torpedo Countermeasures
Acoustic Torpedo Countermeasures Image

Expendable Acoustic Device (EAD)

The Expendable Acoustic Device (EAD) is a programmable countermeasure that is used as part of Ultra’s Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD) system.

The EAD is reprogrammable at dockside, prior to loading into the launcher or in-situ prior to entering a threat arena with an optional programmer. EAD launch may be initiated via the local control unit on each launcher or via a remote Launcher Control Unit (LCU) sited in the Operations Room or the Bridge.

Each EAD launcher, typically one fitted to port and one fitted to starboard, contains eight or ten EADS. The launchers fire their countermeasures using self-contained high pressure air to simplify handling and installation when the systems are moved from ship to ship. Each barrel has an independent reservoir, which is sized to take account of the worst-case environmental conditions and ship attitude.

Acoustic Countermeasure Launcher 

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Surface Ship Multistatic Processing
Surface Ship Multistatic Processing Image

Surface Ship Multistatic Processing

Ultra is a leader in the development of ASW multistatics processing capability, using multiple sonobuoys for detection, classification and localisation of submarine and torpedo threats. 

Ultra can extend this capability through by combining a Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS) and Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) to provide a 360° integrated and distributed multi-sensor sonar processing capability.

A multistatic processing capability will increase the probability of detection, enable wide area operation and the combination of active and passive (stealthy) sensors delivers a key tactical advantage.

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Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS)
Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS) Image

Sea Searcher Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS)

The Sea Searcher HMS has been selected for the Royal Navy's Type 23 and Type 26 frigates, the Royal Australian Navy's Hunter Class and Canadian Surface Combatant.

Ultra’s Sea Searcher is a family of HMS that provides the latest innovation in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). Sea Searcher forms part of Ultra’s flexible Integrated Sonar System (ISS) – an adaptable system that can be configured to meet individual customer and platform requirements.

Sea Searcher is a medium frequency hull mounted sonar, that provides active and passive surveillance and classification capabilities in a broad range of marine conditions. Its' phased array is capable of omni or sector transmission, and also provides automatic torpedo detection with low false alarm rate, mine and obstacle avoidance, and automatic marine mammal detection.

Performance prediction features and an intuitive human computer interface optimises information gathering for faster and more efficient decision-making in a broad range of operational situations. The digital outboard array module design reduces inboard footprint and complexity. Inboard, the system uses a flexible Ethernet (IP) Network to connect the processing, sonar console, combat management and navigation system interfaces, a high data rate recorder and digital array.

Sea Searcher is available in bow and keel configurations and can be fitted within new or existing domes.

It operates within a high dynamic range and wide bandwidth, as well as high source level, to maximise performance.

The detection and classification processing software uses the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service (DDS) open architecture, permitting insertion of third party applications and optional re-hosting on alternative processing hardware platforms, such as Shared Computing Environments.

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