U.S. Says Yes to Australia for buying ASW Sonar Systems

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 06:01 AM, May 5, 2023
  • 868
U.S. Says Yes to Australia for buying ASW Sonar Systems
Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Expeditionary (SURTASS-E) mission systems @via open sources

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Expeditionary (SURTASS-E) mission systems to Australia for an estimated cost of $207 million.

An announcement made by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 4 May confirmed Canberra has requested to buy SURTASS-E mission systems and related equipment for its Vessels of Opportunity (VOO).

As per an official DSCA release, the request includes a shore processing mission system; a spare SURTASS passive acoustic array; containers; communications parts and support equipment; software; and other related elements of logistics and program support. 

"The proposed sale will improve Australia’s capability to meet current and future maritime threats by providing tactical platforms with the detection and cueing of enemy submarines," the DSCA said. "The ability to provide acoustic Wide Area Surveillance and generate Indications and Warnings to Australian Commands will significantly improve shared maritime security."

The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin-Syracuse and Lockheed Martin-Manassas.

SURTASS is currently in use by the U.S. Navy's T-AGOS class of ocean surveillance ships, operated by Military Sealift Command to support anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions.

The SURTASS system consists of long acoustic arrays towed horizontally behind a surface surveillance ship to receive acoustic data. The system provides passive detection of nuclear and diesel submarines, enabling real-time reporting of surveillance information to ASW commanders.

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