The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has awarded ERAPSCO, a joint venture of Sparton and USSI, a $181.9 million contract modification for the delivery of sonobuoys for submarine-hunting operations.
The latest contract covers the production of three types of sonobuoys for training, testing and combat operations purposes.
More specifically, ERAPSCO will be responsible for the delivery of an additional 100,000 AN/SSQ-53, 16,000 AN/SSQ-101, and 10,000 AN/SSQ-62 production sonobuoys by September 2025.
USSI describes a sonobuoy as a device used to detect submarines by either listening for the sounds produced by propellers and machinery (passive detection) or by bouncing a sonar “ping” off the surface of the submarine (active detection). Multi-static operations utilize separate active source and passive receiver sonobuoys. Multi-static techniques are also used for submarine detection and localization.
According to the company, specialized sonobuoys can also detect electric fields and magnetic anomalies, as well as measuring environmental parameters like water temperature versus depth, air temperature, barometric pressure, and wave height.
The AN/SSQ-53 and AN/SSQ-101 covered under this contract modification are passive sonobuoys, while the AN/SSQ-62 is an active sonobuoys.
The US Navy deploys the sonobuoys from P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters.