Thales, Lockheed continue Merlin deal

April 12, 2011 at 9:35 AM
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LONDON, April 12 (UPI) -- Thales's British operation has signed a new contract with Lockheed Martin UK for support of a Royal Navy anti-submarine acoustic sub-system.

The sub-system is used on Royal Navy Merlin Mk1 and Mk2 helicopters.

This new contract covers the next five-year phase -- April 2011 to March 2016 -- of the existing 25-year Integrated Merlin Operational Support program and continues to provide an availability-based support package.

The Merlin's acoustic sub-system comprises the Folding Light Acoustic System for Helicopters Active Dipping Sonar, combined with a sonics sub-system for sonobuoy processing.

FLASH is the Royal Navy's principal airborne sensor system for anti-submarine warfare and also equips the US Navy's MH60-R ASW helicopters as well as French, Norwegian and Swedish aircraft.

The IMOS contract ensures the availability of depot stock levels to support the Royal Navy's forward fleet by providing service management, supply support, technical support and equipment performance analysis.

Thales said this period of support will see the replacement of the Thales sonics sub-system by a phased introduction of the Thales acoustic sub-system as part of the IMOS Program, which introduces a new common acoustic processor that incorporates latest processing technology.

"The FLASH dipping sonar is a proven world-class sonar system and an integral part of the Merlin's outstanding ASW capability," said Phil Naybour, head of Thales UK's naval business. "This contract continues Thales's long-term commitment to provide efficient and effective support solutions through a partnered approach with Lockheed Martin and the Royal Navy."

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