S-Cube the Sonar of Choice for New Submarines

By Richard Sterk, Defense Electronics Analyst, Forecast International.

S-Cube Submarine Sonar System. Source: Thales

The older generation Eledone (technology- based) sonars such as the TSM-2233 are being phased out by newer sonars like the S-Cube and the UMS-3000.  (The UMS-3000 appears to be the designation for the system intended for the Barracuda class SSNs and Le Triomphant class SSBNs.)  Forecast International’s market forecasts for the UMS-3000 and S-Cube systems are based upon the procurement of submarines (platforms) that host these sonars, such as the Scorpène class subs under construction for Brazil, India, and Spain.  They are also based on expected retrofits and upgrades to various Type 209 submarines.

With the construction of nuclear-powered submarines moving out of its traditionally narrow base, it appears that the S-Cube sonar in particular has become available for export to equip such boats.  The requirements for sonars on nuclear-powered submarines differ from those for sonars on diesel-electrics. Developing one sonar from the other is cost-prohibitive unless a contract is already in hand, so S-Cube may have a lock on this emerging sector.

A mere handful of these systems will likely be built over the next few years, with production to total two or three units per year through 2019, followed by production of one unit annually through 2022.  No production is forecast beyond 2022, as more technologically advanced and capable units will likely be available by that time.

FI’s eight Electronic Systems Market Intelligence Services cover the full range of defense-related systems and programs in the radar, communications, electro-optical, and electronic warfare markets, presenting a comprehensive market outlook for current equipment as well as new systems being developed as the modern battlefield moves toward a technology-based warfare approach with network-centric capabilities.

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