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Ultra to supply new sonobuoys to French Navy

Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems has been awarded an order for sonobuoys for the French Navy for production during 2019, as part of an ongoing agreement to supply sonobuoys to the fleet.

The latest order was placed recently through Thales Defence Mission Systems by the Delegation Generale de L’Armament (DGA).  Ultra is about to complete delivery of its current order for HIDAR and LOFAR sonobuoys, which was awarded in 2017.

Ultra remains the only supplier of sonobuoys to the UK Royal Navy, having delivered more than 123,000 to the Ministry of Defence in the last 15 years.

Managing Director, Mike Williams, said: “Sonobuoys remain the backbone of our business, and we are delighted to provide this expert technology to the French Navy. We highly value their trust in us and our ongoing relationship.”

Ultra began manufacturing sonobuoys at its Greenford facility in 1949 and has made nearly 1.3 million units to date.

The company is a pioneer and world leader in sonobuoy technology and its design engineers are currently working on a miniaturisation programme, which will see the HIDAR and ALFEA buoys supplied to the UK, reduced in size and weight with an overall improvement in performance. These smaller sonobuoys, when launched from an Ultra-designed mission pod, can uniquely provide a role-fit submarine-hunting capability for smaller fixed or rotary-winged manned aircraft and UAVs.

Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems has been awarded an order for sonobuoys for the French Navy for production during 2019, as part of an ongoing agreement to supply sonobuoys to the fleet.

The latest order was placed recently through Thales Defence Mission Systems by the Delegation Generale de L’Armament (DGA).  Ultra is about to complete delivery of its current order for HIDAR and LOFAR sonobuoys, which was awarded in 2017.

Ultra remains the only supplier of sonobuoys to the UK Royal Navy, having delivered more than 123,000 to the Ministry of Defence in the last 15 years.

Managing Director, Mike Williams, said: “Sonobuoys remain the backbone of our business, and we are delighted to provide this expert technology to the French Navy. We highly value their trust in us and our ongoing relationship.”

Ultra began manufacturing sonobuoys at its Greenford facility in 1949 and has made nearly 1.3 million units to date.

The company is a pioneer and world leader in sonobuoy technology and its design engineers are currently working on a miniaturisation programme, which will see the HIDAR and ALFEA buoys supplied to the UK, reduced in size and weight with an overall improvement in performance. These smaller sonobuoys, when launched from an Ultra-designed mission pod, can uniquely provide a role-fit submarine-hunting capability for smaller fixed or rotary-winged manned aircraft and UAVs.

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Ultra CSS awarded contract for Platform Data Management System upgrade on the Royal Navy's Type 23 Frigate

Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems (CSS) has been awarded a contract for circa £7.4 million by the UK MoD for an upgrade to the Platform Data Management Type 2 (PDM2) system on the Type 23 Frigate. This upgrade will resolve obsolescence issues and extend the system life.

The system was originally designed in the 1980s, and distributes time critical navigation and own ship data to the bridge systems, sensors and weapon systems on the ship. The upgrade uses commercial off-the-shelf network technology, adapted to achieve system latency requirements and improves aspects of system fault finding and maintenance and reduces the overall number of parts in the system. The upgrade also provides an IP based architecture to support the integration of new equipment being added as part of the Type 23 life extension programme.

The upgrade uses skills in network technology, naval electronics systems and electronics design, and will extend the life of PDM2 to the end of the ship life and reduce through life costs compared to the current system implementation.

CSS specialises in supporting, upgrading and reverse engineering naval electronic systems for Navies looking to extend the lives of their platforms without the major investment in new systems. PDM2 is part of a family of Navigation Data Distribution systems that have been supplied to navies worldwide and forms part of the CSS Naval portfolio. With expertise in above water warfare systems, innovative anti-submarine warfare systems and a long heritage of support, CSS can offer a unique combination of new, upgraded, repaired and re-engineered systems for modernising and life extending warships.

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Ultra selected as the preferred bidder to remain Royal Navy Torpedo Defence System support partner for next decade

Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems has become the preferred bidder to the UK Ministry of Defence to provide the next 10 years of in-service support for its Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD) system.

Ultra’s SSTD is the world’s only in-service ‘sensor-to-countermeasure’ system and provides torpedo detection, classification, threat evaluation and decoy capabilities.

The SSTD system (also known as Sea Sentor) has been sold to a total four navies and consists of a variable depth towed array, winch, countermeasure launcher, electronics unit and control panel. An Expendable Acoustic Decoy (EAD), pneumatically fired from the launcher, is also manufactured and supplied by Ultra.

This latest announcement is for a new 10-year contract, which builds on contracts signed by Ultra and UK MOD since 2004.During this time, Ultra has supplied 16 SSTD systems to the Royal Navy which can be role fitted to all Royal Navy warships and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

Managing Director, Mike Williams, said: “We are proud to have been given the opportunity to continue to support this key capability for the Royal Navy for the next 10 years, in a world scenario of an increasing underwater threat.”

Ultra, which is based at sites in Loudwater, Greenford and Weymouth in the UK, is a world leader in sonar systems, included hull-mounted and towed-array sonar systems, sonobuoys and surface ship and submarine torpedo defence and mine disposal systems.

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Ultra to showcase world’s first Sonobuoy Mission Pod

Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems will be showcasing the world-first Sonobuoy Mission Pod at Underwater Defence & Security (UDS) Exhibition in March.

Ultra’s Sonobuoy Mission Pod (SMP) provides an on-demand, role-fit sonobuoy dispenser and optional integrated sonobuoy processing system for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.

It can carry and dispense from 25 to 63 G-Size and F-Size sonobuoys and has been designed for rapid front-line installation and removal and sized to match the payload capacity of the platform.

Ultra is leading the field in the miniaturisation of sonobuoys, making them smaller and lighter, while providing a 35 per cent increase in capacity, an extended search area and more time on station.

Ultra will present a paper on its SMP and miniature sonobuoy capabilities during the Pre-Conference speech day on 5 March, then exhibiting on Stand 2 till 7 March, at UDS in the Ageas Bowl Hilton Hotel in Southampton.The annual UDS event is the premier international forum to understand the latest research, innovations, challenges and technologies in the underwater domain.

Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems is a world-leader in highly specialised naval, terrestrial and airborne systems across defence markets. The UK company has more than 60 years of experience in the design, manufacture and support of a range of innovative systems for the Royal Navy and navies worldwide, including ASW sonars, sonobuoys, surface ship and submarine torpedo defence, naval combat systems, combat management systems, fire control and electro-optic tracking solutions. Its cost-effective, proven and flexible solutions are designed to deliver dominance and operational advantage across manned and unmanned platforms. Command & Sonar Systems is part of the Ultra Electronics Group.
* Image courtesy of Marshall ADG

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Ultra’s Electro-Optical Landing System aids first SRVL on HMS Queen Elizabeth

An F-35B Lightning aircraft has made the first ever Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL) on HMS Queen Elizabeth, with the aid of a pioneering Electro-Optical Landing System with hardware and software developed and supplied by Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems.

Ultra’s electro-optical (EO) camera system provides a 360 degree EO tracking and monitoring capability and captures every detail of the final approach to enable an F-35B jet to land safely with fuel and weapons. SRVL augments the normal vertical landing mode, which the system also monitors.

With SRVL the jet takes a more conventional landing pattern, approaching the ship from the aft end, at speed, using the thrust from the nozzle and lift created by air over the wings, to touch down and come to a stop as soon as possible, saving time and money and reducing heat stress on the ship’s deck.

Ultra’s EO Landing System monitors the aircraft’s recovery glide path using a Glide Path Camera system (GPC), which is a 2-axis stabilised system located on the aft island and a Centre Line Camera system (CLC) on the stern of the platform. The GPC and CLC are controlled from a single operator position, the Landing Signal Officer (LSO) in Flying Control (FLYCO), using Ultra’s graphical and user interface software.

The first landing trials were successfully conducted in November 2018 on board Queen Elizabe.

Commander Air, or ‘Wings’ on board, Cdr James Blackmore, said: “It’s fantastic to have achieved this. Absolutely brilliant. It was text-book, just what we expected. This is the first step in proving this capability, another milestone in aviation for the Royal Navy.”

Ultra also supplies the Electro-Optical Surveillance System (EOS) on this class of ship, which consists of a 2-axis stabilised EO system fitted to each island and providing the ship with a 360 degrees general purpose EO surveillance capability. Features include tracking hand over, digital video distribution and recording. The EOS, GPC and CLC are all integrated into a single EO system.

Mike Williams, MD of Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems, said: “Our system has the potential to provide a unique capability to aircraft carrier general purpose surveillance and landing operations and demonstrates the capability of this business to meet unique and complex requirements in short timescales. We’re proud to have contributed to this key moment in the history of carrier landing operations.”

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