Home Europe Poland equipping AW101 helicopters with Thales sonars for ASW tasks

Poland equipping AW101 helicopters with Thales sonars for ASW tasks

Royal Navy Merlin with Thales dipping sonar
Illustration. Photo: Thales

The Polish Navy will be getting Flash Sonics hardened sonar systems developed and delivered by Thales for its new anti-submarine warfare helicopters.

The Leonardo and Thales teams worked together with local industrial partners to meet the requirements of the Polish Navy.

The sonars will equip the Polish Navy’s four AW101 helos that are being delivered by Leonardo under a $430 million deal from 2019.

The Flash sonar, a low-frequency broadband system, offers a large detection range with a wide coverage rate and a low false alarm level. Associated with an active and passive acoustic buoy treatment system, the Flash Sonics system is intended for heavy helicopters such as Leonardo’s Merlin AW101, but it can also be integrated on lighter helicopters thanks to a compact version equipped with an electric motor such as the AW159.

Thales and Leonardo worked together with local industrial partners such as Polish aeronautical and military supplier WZL1 and Gdansk University of Technology (GUT) to meet customer requirements. GUT and WZL1 benefit on this occasion from a technology transfer for sonar maintenance.

“Thanks to its proven effectiveness in operations with many navies, the Flash system today represents a proven threat to all types of submarines. It is a major tool of underwater theater superiority for our client navies. With this new contract in partnership with Leonardo, we are very sensitive to the confidence placed in us by the Polish Navy,” Alexis Morel, Thales vice-president of underwater activities, said.