Danish and Polish defense procurement agencies have contracted Canadian unmanned systems specialist Kraken Robotics for the deliveries of the Katfish towed synthetic aperture sonar for mine countermeasures (MCM) operations.
Both countries have also ordered the autonomous launch and recovery system (ALARS) that deploys the sonar from aboard MCM vessels.
Poland is scheduled to receive the equipment in the second half of 2021, when it will be integrated onto the navy’s Kormoran II class mine countermeasures vessels.
Denmark awarded Kraken a C$36 million contract for the delivery of the equipment after a lengthy evaluation process that saw the navy test four different systems. The Royal Danish Navy will use the sonar on its fleet of optionally unmanned surface vessels. The four ships – MSF 1, 2, 3 and 4 – have operated a side scan sonar since entering service in the 1990s. The new system is to be delivered between 2022 and 2023.
“The ability to recognize conditions below sea level on Danish maritime territory is as ever considered a vital task of the Royal Danish Navy and its MCM forces,” the head of the maritime division within the Danish defense procurement agency (DALO), Captain (RDN) Kim Bo Meier, said. “After a lengthy and rigorous procurement process the Royal Danish Navy has selected Kraken’s Katfish 180 system as its future main mine hunting sensor. A modern sensor, which within the months to come is to be fully integrated in to the Danish MCM modular concept of unmanned and remotely controlled MCM drones.”