04 January 2012
HMS Kent, one of the Royal Navy's (RN's) most advanced Type
23 frigates, has been fitted with Thales UK's Sonar 2087
system as part of a multi-million pound upgrade to her
systems and operational capability. Kent now becomes the
seventh Type 23 frigate to be upgraded with the Sonar 2087
HMS Kent will emerge as one of the most capable
anti-submarine warfare frigates in the
Having entered dry dock in November 2010, Kent has now left
the dockyard fresh from a comprehensive upgrade to her
systems and equipment, and sailed under the famous Forth
Bridges to begin her sea trials.
The ship has benefitted from a £24m overhaul of her hull,
upper deck and complex weapons systems. The UK Ministry of
Defence (MoD) says that the fitting of the new active
towed-array sonar gives the Type 23 frigate "phenomenal
capability" and makes her a "world-leading anti-submarine
This type of frigate can also carry the Merlin helicopter,
which is fitted with the Thales FLASH dipping sonar. The
combination of 2087 and FLASH makes the Type 23 a
formidable anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platform.
Sonar 2087 is a towed-array system that enables Type 23
frigates to hunt the latest submarines at considerable
distances and locate them beyond the range from which they
can launch an attack.
The system is a low-frequency active sonar, consisting of
both active and passive sonar arrays. The system is
manufactured at Thales's sites in Cheadle Heath in
Manchester and Templecombe in Somerset in the UK, and in
Training at sea will see Kent conduct many inspections,
exercises and trials off the east coast of Scotland.
Speaking of the trials, the ship's commanding officer,
Commander Ben Ripley, says: "HMS Kent will emerge as
one of the most capable anti-submarine warfare frigates in
the world, and today is our first step in realising this
"Recent operational deployments using Sonar 2087
against actual 'threat platforms' continue to show this to
be a very capable ASW system, giving these platforms a
significant capability enhancement."
"HMS Kent will soon enter service alongside the other six
Sonar 2087-fitted platforms further extending the Royal
Navy's ASW capability."
- Ends -
About Thales and Thales UK
Thales is a global technology leader for the defence &
security and the aerospace & transport markets. In 2010 the
company generated revenues of £11.2 billion (13.1
billion), with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its
22,500 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique
capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems
and services that meet the most complex security
requirements. Thales has an exceptional international
footprint, with operations around the world working with
customers as local partners.
Thales UK employs 8,000 staff based at 35 locations. In 2010
Thales UK's revenues were around £1.5 billion.