Our passive and active sonobuoys are used for detection, classification and localisation of submarines. With world-leading capability, our range of sonobuoys are proven in the underwater battlespace and provide mission-critical advantage for our national and allied navies.
- AN/SSQ-125 - NATO A-size sonobuoy for use as a source in a multi-static sonobuoy field.
- AN/SSQ-565 - operates primarily as a high-power, low frequency acoustic source for multistatic active sonar operations. It’s transmit band is compatible with any standard sonobuoy, but is ideally matched with Ultra’s SSQ-573. The Q-565 also provides a standalone omnidirectional passive receive capability with automatic gain control (AGC) for monostatic active sonar operations. The Q-565 incorporates a Command Signal Generator (CSG)/Command Function Select (CFS)- compatible UHF downlink to control its operation after launch.
- AN/SSQ-573 - Directional Frequency Analysis and Recording device (DIFAR) sonobuoy combines the proven passive acoustic performance of the SSQ-53D(3) DIFAR sonobuoy with an all-digital electronics design. The Q-573 is ideal for use as a receiver for multistatic active operations or as a passive receiver in high ambient noise conditions. The Q-573 takes advantage of its digital signal processing capabilities to offer the user a choice of three communication modes: a low-noise analog DIFAR mode compatible with the Q-53D(3); an analog narrowband low-frequency active (LFA) mode with AGC; or a digital high-dynamic range mode. DIFAR mode is fully compatible with all NATO sonobuoy processors.
- AN/SSQ-926 - ALFEA sonobuoy has been designed specifically for use as a high power, low frequency electro-acoustic source for use in multistatic buoy fields. In conjunction with HIDAR passive receive sonobuoys in a multistatic field, the power and frequency provide exceptional detection and tracking performance even in difficult water conditions such as the littorals and shipping lanes. Following launch and deployment, the ALFEA sonobuoy transmits status telemetry including GPS location data and can then be controlled by commands transmitted from the aircraft over a UHF radio link. The sonobuoy can be commanded to increase cable depth and ‘ping’ from a programmable library containing both traditional and novel ping types. The buoy can also be commanded to scuttle when no longer required.
Command Active Multi-Beam Sonobuoy
- AN/SSQ-963D - A-size, monostatic sonobuoy, combining high-power active transmissions with multiple receive beam-forming to provide highly accurate target range and bearing information for very close tracking and attack. CAMBS can be commanded by a UHF transmitter to lower the transducer/receiver array in the water, change ping type and scuttle the buoy after use.
- AN/SSQ-36B - NATO A-size sonobuoy manufactured for the US Navy. It provides vertical temperature profiles of the ocean layer for research and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) purposes. The AN/SSQ-36B is widely used for airborne ASW applications to evaluate local effects of seawater temperature on sonar propagation and acoustic range prediction.
- AN/SSQ-536G - G size bathythermograph sonobuoy provides information on the sea temperature as its probe sinks, allowing the operator to create a water column temperature vs. depth profile to support acoustic propagation analysis. It is functionally identical to the A-size AN/SSQ-36B but with half the volume and weight. The AN/SSQ-536G can profile 800m water column within 10 minutes of water entry. It is equipped with a probe release detector to ensure data integrity.
- AN/SSQ-937D - G-size bathythermograph sonobuoy has been designed, built, and qualified for use by the UK MoD. It provides the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operator with an extremely precise plot of sea temperature vs. depth. Gravity launched from aircraft, helicopters, or surface ships, the SSQ-937D offers high performance in a small package, lightweight bathythermal buoy.
- AN/SSQ-62E - fifth-generation, all digital Directional Command Active Sonobuoy System (DICASS) used for detecting and localising submarines in preparation for attack.
- AN/SSQ-62F - sixth-generation, Directional Command Active Sonobuoy System (DICASS) sonobuoy used for detecting and localising submarines in preparation for attack. This GPS capable Sonobuoy requires Command Function Select (CFS).
- AN/SSQ-62F (GPS) - sixth-generation, Directional Command Active Sonobuoy System (DICASS) sonobuoy used for detecting and localising submarines in preparation for attack. This is the recommended DICASS Sonobuoy for international customers requiring GPS capability.
Directional Frequency Analysis and Recording device - DIFAR
- AN/SSQ-53F - NATO A-size sonobuoy manufactured for the US Navy which combines a passive directional and calibrated wide band omni capability into a single multi-functional sonobuoy.
- AN/SSQ-53G - US Navy A-size sonobuoy combines a passive directional and calibrated wide-band omni capability into a single multi-functional sonobuoy. This DIFAR sonobuoy has a GPS capability that requires Command function Select (CFS) for GPS operation.
- AN/SSQ-53D (3) - provides directional and omnidirectional acoustic data over a wide frequency range. It has the best 5Hz passive acoustic performance on the market and is the lightest A-size DIFAR sonobuoy available.
- AN/SSQ-53G (GPS) - US Navy A-size sonobuoy combines a passive directional and calibrated wide-band omni capability into a single multi-functional sonobuoy. This is the recommended DIFAR Sonobuoy for international customers requiring GPS capability.
- AN/SSQ-553G-B - provides exceptional wide-band directional and omnidirectional performance in a compact package. The Q-553G takes its acoustic sensor and suspension system design from our A-size SSQ-53D(3) DIFAR sonobuoy, which has the best available 5Hz passive performance on the market.
The SSQ 53D (3) is the only DIFAR NATO sonobuoy rated for sea-state 6 operation and is compatible with all western sonobuoy processors.
Wideband Omni-Directional Passive Surveillance Sonobuoy AN SSQ-906G and H
- AN/SSQ-906G - LOFAR sonobuoy combines a high-performance, wide frequency band omni-directional sensor with the proven in-buoy digital electronics of the SSQ-955 HIDAR sonobuoy. This combination takes full advantage of digital signal processing to offer a buoy that outputs distortion-free acoustic data across a high dynamic range and with superb linearity across an extended acoustic spectrum.
- AN/SSQ-906H - designed primarily for shallow water operations close to the shoreline, or in the freshwater run-off environment of river estuaries. This variant will cope with all salinity conditions from fresh water to 3.6% salinity by weight. Optional GPS telemetry can be included.
Air Deployable Active Receiver
- AN/SSQ-101B - NATO A-size sonobuoy manufactured for the U.S. Navy and provides a commandable passive search capability.
The SSQ-955 HIDAR sonobuoy combines the world’s best Directional Frequency Analysis and Recording (DIFAR) sensor with an all-digital electronics design in a lightweight G-size package. This combination takes full advantage of digital signal processing to offer a buoy that outputs distortion-free acoustic data with a high dynamic range with superb linearity across an extended acoustic spectrum.
The buoy is ideal for use in high ambient noise conditions, e.g. in coastal environments, heavy rain, or near interfering shipping. The fully digital design also offers fast recovery in transient overload conditions and eliminates composite telemetry distortion when overloaded, making it well suited to acting as a low frequency active receiver for multistatic operations.
The SSQ-955 offers considerable benefits to maritime patrol aircraft, especially those with limited space and payload capacity. Its small, lightweight size is ideal for helicopter operations and larger unmanned air systems. HIDAR Variants available include:
- SSQ-955A – calibrated buoy for Sound Pressure Level measurement
- SSQ-955B – equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS)
- SSQ-955C – coastal Surveillance buoy with low salinity and shallow hydrophone depth settings for ice-edge or estuarine operations
The Sonobuoy Mission Pod (SMP) provides an on-demand, role-fit sonobuoy dispenser and optional sonobuoy processing solution for fixed-wing and rotary-wing platforms.
Designed for rapid frontline installation and removal, the SMP attaches to a MIL-STD-2088 weapon hard-point providing for multi-role operation of existing platforms in an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capacity.
The SMP can be used to deploy a multistatic sonobuoy pattern allowing area clearance up to three times faster to the same probability of detection than active dipping sonar. Available in carriage variants ranging from 24 to 63 sonobuoys, the SMP can be sized to match the payload capacity of small and large platforms. Multiple SMPs can be installed to a single platform to extend sonobuoy payload capacity.
Other underwater signaling and receiving devices
The use of sonobuoys for wide area multistatic surveillance transforms the field of airborne sonar, providing a quantum leap in capability. It allows multiple platforms to work together if they have the right processing equipment to operate in the 100Hz to 2000Hz acoustic spectrum.
In partnership with Leonardo, we have developed the ULISSES acoustic processor which fulfils emerging requirements to increase operational effectiveness of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (rotary & fixed wing) in wide area search.
ULISSES implements multistatic capabilities as well as concurrent processing over a broad sonobuoy inventory, including the latest sonobuoys developed to detect low noise targets. The next generation of G-size sonobuoys will deliver a multi-static sensor field with increased multi-static active performance compared to current sonobuoys, increasing area search performance for the same probability of detection.