July 19 (UPI) -- ERAPSCO, a joint venture of Sparton and Ultra Electronics, has been awarded a potential $1 billion contract to build and deliver 932,500 sonobuoys for the U.S. Navy.
The contract for the sonobuoys, which detect and transmit underwater audio to submarines and ships using built-in air-launched electromechanical acoustic sensors, covers AN/SSQ-62F, AN/SSQ-53G, AN/SSQ-36B and AN/SSQ-101B, the Department of Defense said Thursday.
Fifty-one percent of work will be done in De Leon Spring, Fla., and the rest will take place in Columbia, Ind. Work is expected to be completed by September 2025.
No funds have been obligated at the time of award and individual orders will be funded as they are issued.
The joint venture has been developing products for the U.S. Navy since 1987.
In 2017, the Navy authorized as many as 166,500 AN/SSQ, worth $219.8 million order.
A sonobuoy typically detects, tracks and pinpoints potentially hostile submarines operating in the open ocean and in coastal areas by listening for the sounds produced by propellers and machinery or by bouncing a sonar "ping" off the surface of the submarine.
This information can help enable precision attacks with air-launched torpedoes, according to ERAPSCO, which claims to be the largest producer of sonobuoys in the world with combined deliveries of over 10 million units.
Sonobuoy capabilities include taking the temperature and barometric pressure of ocean layers at different depths.