Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Type 4249 and UMS 4249
Thales Naval Systems
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Description: The Combined Active and Passive Towed Array Sonar (CAPTAS) is a family of long-range, Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) systems developed by Thales Underwater Systems to support surface ship's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability. The CAPTAS towed Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) is well suited for detection of modern diesel-powered submarines in the littoral, deep and shallow water environments. Its range of performance levels, defined by the power of acoustic transmission and the gain of the receiver subsystem, enables integration onto a wide range of surface ships such as corvettes, frigates and/or destroyers. CAPTAS family also features a faired tow cable for optimum Towed Body (TB) depth control, COTS processing architecture and port-starboard non ambiguous discrimination on receive array.
The CAPTAS 4 (Combined Active and Passive Towed Array Sonar, 4 rings, for Surface Ship Underwater Warfare), also knwon as Type 4249 or UMS 4249, is a TB system with linear receive arrays in either dependent (towed behind the TB) or independent configurations which is an optimal design for shallow water operations. The sonar system accepts full passive and active operation modes. In active operation mode the CAPTAS 4 sonar covers a frequency range between 0.95 and 2.1 KHz and is fully compatible with built-in passive torpedo alert function. In passive mode the frequency covered is below 0.1 to 2 KHz. The towing cable and handling system have been designed to minimize problems due to surface layers. Sophisticated algorithms are used for coping with the reverberation conditions of shallow littoral waters.
The CAPTAS 4 sonar TB is 2x1x1.2 (LxHxW) meters with a weight of 1,250 kg. The towed array is 90 meters in length and 85mm in diameter with a combined weight of 2,490 kg. The handling system is 6.4x2.1x4.4 (LxHxW) meters with a weight of 15,000 kg. The UMS 4249 uses Omni-directional vertical line array of four free flooded rings (FFR). The heavy tow cable is 264 meters long and the light two cable is 500 meters long. The towed array sonar can be deployed or recovered within 20 minutes and has a maximum tow speed of 30 knots.
The CAPTAS 4 VDS (Variable Depth Sonar) low-frequency towed array was selected by the Navies of France and Italy, along with the Type 4110 hull-mounted sonar, as part of a complete sonar suite for long-range ASW detection onboard FREMM ASW frigates.
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