Leonardo has entered into partnerships with L3 Technologies and Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems in order to offer a complete Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) acoustic system based on Leonardo’s new lightweight ULISSES (Ultra-LIght SonicS Enhanced System) processor.
Leonardo will offer an integrated system comprising ULISSES and either a dipping sonar provided by L3 or sonobuoys provided by Ultra, or a combination of both. The integrated system will be trialed for the first time later this year with the complete system available for deliveries in 2020.
Leonardo has a track record in ASW technology, originally providing the OTS-90 acoustic system for Italian and Dutch NH90 Naval Frigate Helicopters. The Company has taken the experience gained from this work and used it to develop the new ULISSES processor, packing enhanced functionality into a much smaller unit weighing just 6.5kg.
Combined with market-leading sonobuoys from Ultra and advanced HELRAS and Firefly dipping sonars from L3, Leonardo is now able to offer a highly-competitive integrated acoustic system to a range of international users. A reduction in system weight compared to legacy systems means that ULISSES can be fitted on-board even very small unmanned platforms such as Leonardo’s own SD-150 Hero rotary-wing aircraft.
Notably, the new system is able to deliver multistatic functionality, where the processor collects data from multiple sonobuoys and combines the information to develop an in-depth picture of the under-sea environment, including detailed location data of any potentially threatening vessels. Multistatic functionality invented and developed by Ultra is embedded in the ULISSES sonobuoy processor.
Currently, Ultra is the only company to provide miniaturized sonobuoys fitted for multistatic operation which are suitable for small UAV applications and Leonardo will be the first company to offer a system which makes use of them. The ULISSES system can also use the very-low-frequency L3 HELRAS dipping sonar as an active source, improving its multistatic performance and delivering the best-possible information to operators.