Thales to deliver next-generation sonar systems for Royal Navy's dreadnought submarines

Thales will deliver next-generation sonar systems for Royal Navy's dreadnought submarines. Contracts to develop the ‘eyes and ears’ of Dreadnought submarines will create 170 jobs and secure 350 more across the UK.

Thales to deliver next generation sonar systems for Royal Navys dreadnought submarines 925 001 Artist's rendering of Dreadnought class submarine (Picture source: BAE Submarine Solutions)

Thales has been awarded a £330 million contract to equip the Royal Navy Continuous at Sea Deterrent (CASD) submarines with the latest Sonar 2076 system and Combat System Mast. Sonar 2076 is the world’s most advanced sonar suite and is currently in service with the Navy’s Trafalgar and Astute Class submarines. The Combat System Mast combines world-class visuals, electronic warfare and communications.

A total of 520 jobs in the UK at Thales are secured or created by the announcement (350 secured and 170 created) – mainly in the highly-skilled manufacturing, engineering and design sectors. The jobs are based at our sites in Templecombe Cheadle Heath Crawley and Glasgow.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said:

I am delighted to continue our 50-year strong partnership with Thales. These next-generation sonars and sensors will ensure our nuclear deterrent retains a stealth and detection advantage over adversaries.

The fleet will also be equipped with Thales Sonar 2076; providing them with the latest in acoustic detection capability. The visual and situational awareness sensor will combine electronic warfare technology with cameras to provide the Dreadnought crew with a visual link to the sea surface.

The next-generation Dreadnought submarines will be the Royal Navy’s most advanced submarines ever when they enter service from the early 2030s and will be vital in providing the UK’s nuclear deterrent, as they replace the Vanguard-class of ballistic missile submarines.

Thales Chief Executive Victor Chavez said:

Thales is immensely proud of our contribution to the Continuous At-Sea Deterrent over the last 50 years. This announcement represents a £330m investment in world-class sonar and optronics systems; providing the battle-winning edge for the Royal Navy.

Having supported the deterrent since its inception, and with over a century of supplying periscopes to the Royal Navy, I am proud that our engineers continue to deliver cutting edge innovative technology at sites across the UK.

Steve Lloyd, BAE Submarine Solutions’ Dreadnought programme director, said:

This major step, reflecting collaborative working between the Dreadnought Alliance and Thales UK, will make a direct contribution to the sustainment of Continuous At-Sea Deterrence through the delivery of the next generation of the UK’s ballistic missile-carrying submarines.

The £31 billion Dreadnought programme is one of the most complex engineering projects ever undertaken by the UK Government and remains on schedule and within budget.