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Thales to provide new minehunting system to U.K. Royal Navy

By Stephen Carlson
Sandown-class minesweeper HMS Grimsby, which conducted trials on the 2093 sonar. Photo courtesy of Thales.
Sandown-class minesweeper HMS Grimsby, which conducted trials on the 2093 sonar. Photo courtesy of Thales.

Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The U.K. Royal Navy has accepted Thales' newest 2093 mine countermeasures sonar after extensive sea trials.

The 2093 variable depth sonar has been in Royal Navy and worldwide service since the 1980s. The current version being adopted by the U.K. is a wideband variant expected to be installed on the Sandown-class minesweeping vessels, Thales said in a news release.

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The system has undergone 3 months of trials over the summer onboard the HMS Grimsby minesweeper. It is expected to be installed as the standard countermine system aboard Royal Navy ships, according to Thales.

2093 Wideband is a multi-frequency variable depth sonar system designed to detect mines in all depths of water.

The sonar receiver and transmitter are part of a towed array which is lowered below the ship by cable cable, which allows it to penetrate oceanic temperature layers. Thermal layers can block or interfere with sonar signals, making depth of the system important for some applications.

The system is based off the 2193 hull-mounted system that is in use on the Hunt-class minesweeper and other ships.

The system is expected to be widely exported to nations in Asia, the Middle East and Europe that already use similar legacy systems.

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