Kochi

Navy to take delivery of sonar, critical gear developed by NPOL

Myanmar Naval officers inspecting the NPOL-developed Directing Gear on a Myanmarese frigate; Right, the cut section image of a Kilo class submarine showing the deployment of USHUS-2 sonar arrays and display units.

Myanmar Naval officers inspecting the NPOL-developed Directing Gear on a Myanmarese frigate; Right, the cut section image of a Kilo class submarine showing the deployment of USHUS-2 sonar arrays and display units.  

On the heels of it delivering six indigenously developed underwater systems to the Navy late last year, the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) is set to hand over two more systems, an upgraded version of its submarine sonar USHUS and a directing gear for ship-borne hull-mounted sonar, to the Navy.

Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister holding charge of Defence, will hand over the systems developed by NPOL, the only Defence Research and Developement Organisation (DRDO) lab in Kerala, to Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba at an event in Delhi on Friday.

USHUS-2 is an integrated submarine sonar suite, which is a state-of-the-art upgrade of the existing sonar USHUS fitted on the Russian-origin Kilo class submarines operated by the Navy. USHUS-2 will replace the remaining Russian sonars on Kilo class, also called Sindhughosh class, of submarines.

“The sonars are the eyes and ears of a submarine. The primary purpose of the sonar is to detect, localise and attack enemy warships and submarines. It is also essential for safe navigation. USHUS-2 is essentially a suite of multiple sensors for passive and active detection, which collates different characteristics of the same target and provides data for engaging the target. The constituent sonars in the suite include passive sonar, active sonar, intercept sonar, obstacle avoidance sonar and underwater telephony. The sonar suite incorporates advanced signal processing techniques and state-of-the-art hardware platforms. The system provides advanced classification features, contact motion analysis and automatic torpedo detection capabilities. It has been entirely manufactured by Indian industry,” said NPOL officials.

The indigenously-developed Directing Gear (DG) is a ship-borne electromechanical system that rotates the heavy sonar array at controlled speeds and positions it to a specified angle for in-situ calibration and health monitoring. The DGs used to be imported until recently, when at the initiative of NPOL, Bharat Electronics and HMT Machine Tools, Kalamassery, indigenised this critical equipment.

The single flange mounting design of the DG minimises the mechanical interface with the ship structure and consequent structural changes in the ship while replacing the existing foreign DG with the indigenous one. Three such systems have been exported to Myanmar, along with an export version of NPOL’s HUMSA sonar for ships. The Indian Navy installed the first system on board the frigate INS Brahmaputra and has since ordered 10 more such systems. The estimated total orders will be for some 30 systems till 2020. “The development not only spelt the foray of the DRDO into the global market, but also facilitated the public sector HMT’s entry into defence production, which accounted for about 30% increase in its turnover.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 4:29:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/navy-to-take-delivery-of-sonar-critical-gear-developed-by-npol/article17617248.ece

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