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Saab Contract Signals First Commercial Sale Of QinetiQ's Synthetic Aperture Sonar

The long range, high resolution seabed imaging and profiling sonar (pictured) will be fitted to an autonomous underwater vehicle (AU) and forms part of an underwater capability that Saab are developing for FMV, the Swedish Defence Material Administration. Photo courtesy: QinetiQ.

Stockholm, Sweden (SPX) Oct 21, 2005
QinetiQ has signed a contract worth 500,000 for the supply and integration of wideband synthetic aperture sonar equipment (SAS) to Saab Underwater Systems in Sweden.

The long range, high resolution seabed imaging and profiling sonar will be fitted to an autonomous underwater vehicle (AU) and forms part of an underwater capability that Saab are developing for FMV, the Swedish Defence Material Administration.

The sale represents the first commercial sale by QinetiQ sale of SAS equipment and builds on many years of work developing high resolution sonar for the Royal Navy.

Synthetic aperture sonar enables the provision of high resolution underwater pictures where the resolution is not affected by range. With conventional sidescan sonar systems, resolution reduces with range. This means that high resolution pictures can only be obtained at short ranges and with the use of high frequencies. QinetiQ's SAS can achieve 2.5cm azimuth resolution at ranges of over 200m from an underwater vehicle moving at up to 4 knots.

Welcoming the contract award, Ian Prescott, Managing Director of QinetiQ's Sea Division, said: "This contract with Saab is an important milestone in QinetiQ's sonar product development. QinetiQ was selected because of our reputation and track record in developing leading sonar solutions for the Royal Navy and we look forward to bringing that expertise to bear for the benefit of Saab and their customers."

The equipment being supplied under contract consists of the sonar arrays and the associated electronics to drive the arrays, collect the data and store it for subsequent processing. The arrays will be constructed from advanced composite ceramic materials which QinetiQ has played a key part in developing for use in sonar systems. Sonars constructed from these materials and based on development work carried out by QinetiQ are now going into service in the Royal Navy's mine hunting fleet.

As a leader in the research, design and manufacture of SAS and associated supporting technology and advisors to the UK Ministry of Defence, QinetiQ has experienced over a decade of pioneering development of the fundamental supporting wideband sonar technologies. Throughout this period the company has had a dedicated team of scientists, mathematicians and engineers working on practical SAS solutions.

Over the last 15 years, QinetiQ pioneered the development of wideband sonar array technology and demonstrated the performance benefits arising from its use. Originally developed as a technology de-risking exercise for the Royal Navy's current procurement of sonar 2193 for the Hunt class mine hunters, QinetiQ's wideband sonar technology base has seen deployment in AUVs, SAS, harbour defence sonar and submarine sonar.

SAS forms part of a new QinetiQ product family. Other recent QinetiQ sea technologies include its Cerberus swimmer detection sonar, surface ship torpedo countermeasures and the Opta fibreoptic undersea and land surveillance networks.

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Northrop Grumman Selects Designer For CVN 21 Advanced Weapons Elevator
Newport News VA (SPX) Oct 21, 2005
Northrop Grumman has selected Federal Equipment Company to design and build the advanced weapons elevator for the new-generation aircraft carrier, CVN 21.







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