Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: S2087
Origin: United Kingdom
Corporations: Thales Naval Systems
Parent System: Sonar 2087
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2006
Total Production: 8
Total Cost: USD$652 million
Description: The Sonar 2087 was developed to provide the Royal Navy's Type 23 frigates with a more capable sensor for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) than Sonar 2031 passive towed array. Modern conventionally-powered submarines are dramatically quietest than their counterparts of previous generations which makes far more difficult to detect and track them by underwater sensors such as sonar. The S2087 project was launched in April 1994 with the aim to counter conventionally-powered (SSK) and nuclear-powered submarines (SSN and SSBN). In January 2001, Thales Underwater Systems was selected for development and production of the Sonar 2087.
Basically, Sonar 2087 has been designed to be a variable depth, towed active and passive sonar system which performs in conjunction with Sonar 2050 bow-mounted active sonar on UK's Type 23 frigates. S2087 uses lower frequencies of sound than those of sonar systems already deployed within the RN. Lower frequencies propagate farthest and better than higher frequencies which represents greater detection ranges. The operating depth of the S2087 sonar array can vary to optimize the performance of the system. Additional benefits come from extensive use of digital technology in signal processing and COTS hardware.
Overall, S2087 will be suitable for both deep blue ocean and shallow waters littoral environments from tropical temperatures through to artic waters detecting and tracking stealth submarines. Moreover, the systems has been specifically designed to integrate seamlessly with Sonar 2050, Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD) and Type 23 frigate command system (DNA(1)) with equal manning than required for operating S2031 and reduced life cycle costs.
In April 2001, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded Thales a contract for the development and supply of six S2087 sonar sets with an estimated acquisition cost of £340 million ($652 million). The initial operational capability aboard HMS Westminster (T23-class frigate) was expected by January 2007. As of July 2005, the MoD was negotiating with Thales the acquisition of further two S2087 sets.
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