'Next level’ in sonar technology

Aug 18, 2021 9:22:35 AM / by Jeroen Romijn

perfect sky and water of indian ocean

The Navy monitors safety at sea worldwide. That’s a tough job in challenging circumstances. Many countries have Marine Services with sonar systems that are equipped with DeRegt cables. These are developed in cooperation with Ultra, leader in underwater warfare technologies.

“DeRegt Cables focuses on the details. They understand that the defence industry is only satisfied with the best quality equipment. It’s always a challenge to find partners who reach that level. We know from experience that DeRegt can deliver that quality,” says Pierre Poulain, Vice President Business Development & Marketing at Ultra Electronics. DeRegt has been working closely with the Dartmouth-based company for several years. Ultra Maritime Systems specialises in the design and construction of sonar technology, including towed array sonar systems, and sensor technology.


The crème de la crème

DeRegt came into the picture at Ultra Maritime Systems after they were commissioned by the Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) in 2011. “DeRegt had worked with Ultra, based in the UK on Torpedo Defence towed array systems since 2003”, says Program Manager Adam Gray. “Given their past experiences, our English colleagues recommended DeRegt as a local partner.”


Ultra was asked by the DMO to develop a Multi-static Active Passive Sonar system (MAPS). The system has been installed on two multipurpose frigates (M-frigates) in the Karel Doorman class of the Royal Netherlands Navy. Combating submarines is an important task of the M-frigates. “MAPS is a very advanced sonar system,” explains Gray. “The crème de la crème in underwater sensor technology, acoustic signal processing, and anti-submarine technology. The system includes software from TNO, which includes torpedo detection and defence, innovative processing algorithms, and techniques to reduce the effects of sonar transmissions on marine mammals. DeRegt supplied the cables and interface for the system. The Royal Netherlands Navy commissioned MAPS in 2015.


Compared to customers in other industries, such as the oil industry, the bar for defence is set very high, which is only logical, given the situations in which the Navy operates. We have to make sure the system can operate reliably in a wide range of challenging environments.”


Pushing boundaries

According to Gray, customers are becoming increasingly demanding. “We are being asked more frequently to develop systems that can do more, but are smaller in size and weigh less. We are challenged to push the technical boundaries further and further. And we’ve done that successfully so far. We offer creative solutions, in close cooperation with subcontractors such as DeRegt, that make it possible for us to meet our clients’ wishes. DeRegt is an indispensable cooperation partner. The only way to meet challenges is by entering into a close working relationship and sharing our expertise with each other.” According to Poulain, DeRegt is a unique supplier. “There aren’t that many companies making these kind of dynamic cables. Design, verification, validation, and production all take place in a single location at DeRegt. They even do the testing themselves. These are all advantages that contribute to our choosing DeRegt.”


Next level

In the near future, Ultra and DeRegt will work on cables that will be applied to twelve Halifax class frigates, the core of the Canadian Navy. The ships are specialised in anti-submarine warfare and have been considerably modernised in recent years. “This update will take our technical offer to the next level,” says Gray. “It offers our customers even more advanced equipment at the smallest possible size and weight. Thanks to the close cooperation between Ultra and DeRegt, the Navy is able to dedicate itself to safety at and from the sea. That’s a very nice incentive!”


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Topics: Naval Defense, Defense, Subsea, Subsea cables

Jeroen Romijn

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