High-Frequency Sonars Selected for Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force UUVs

By Mike Ball / 27 Nov 2020

High Frequency Synthetic Aperture Sonar for UUVsThales and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) have entered into a contract to provide Thales’ SAMDIS High Frequency Synthetic Aperture Sonar (HFSAS) to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, which utilises MHI’s OZZ-5 Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV).

The combination of the combat-proven Thales HFSAS with the existing Japanese LFSAS (Low Frequency Synthetic Aperture Sonar) technology will allow operators to detect suspected mines in a variety of conditions during MMCM (Maritime Mine Counter Measures) operations. The HFSAS provides AuDC (Automatic Detection and Classification) capabilities that process the collected data and relieve the burden on operators.

This contract agreement is the starting point for a long-term program with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force as the end-user, and potentially opens the door to export markets. Working together with Thales, MHI is aiming to enter new markets among Japan’s allies by offering high-end technology to the most powerful navies. Thales’ anti-submarine warfare and maritime safety and security systems are currently in service with more than 50 navies around the world.

Cyrille Dupont, President and CEO of Thales Japan, commented: “Equipping the OZZ-5 underwater vehicle with our high-frequency sonar evidences our strong relationship with MHI which started years ago with the development of the OZZ-X prototype. It materializes the continuation of the ongoing Japan/ France bilateral long-term cooperation. Thales is really enthusiastic about bringing its field-proven expertise for the benefit of national and foreign defense forces through this successful alliance with MHI.”

Alexis Morel, VP Underwater Activities at Thales, said: “We are very proud to be onboard the OZZ-5 mine warfare UUV with Thales SAMDIS HFSAS and to contribute to the OZZ-5’s outstanding operational performances and unique positioning in this highly competitive market segment. This contract demonstrates Thales’ capability to tailor its offerings to any type of vehicle and navy requirement and will pave the way for future achievements with MHI.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact