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The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

1) It had occurred to me that many here telling me that ships don’t need sonars (‘They are noisy destroyers…’ etc. etc.) are also the same ones telling me drones are the threat of 21st century.

Bloke down the pub

Bring back Hedgehog.

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper
Supportive Bloke

Very interesting. Good link.

That is clearly the kind of thing proposed for inside the BAE 5” round then. I’d missed that.

That then starts to make a bit more sense. Maybe with a tandem charge?

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Options are endless.


There is nothing new under the sun, Hedgehog was a forward-throwing anti-submarine weapon during WW2

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Supportive Bloke

Indeed it was – but it was a scatter of bomblets / depth charges at quite close range.


For those mentioning the old hedgehog style forward laucher …. the past becomes prologue – but this time any direction

‘Leonardo promoted its ODLS20 launcher with eight 130mm tubes for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and AAW, or its trapezoidal B529/8 launchers (B529/8 launchers are more compact for smaller ships). These two types of launchers are fixed port and starboard for Anti-Torpedo ship protection.

For really small ships, Leonardo promoted its B538 Lightweight Launcher consisting of just one tube that can be arranged in clusters of three or six tubes in an outward facing arc for maximum coverage.’

Supportive Bloke

Which is great (or maybe not so much) when you are sitting on top of the sub.

No use at a safe distance out of torpedo range.


Every weapon has a ‘range’ where its useless beyond that

Supportive Bloke

That doesn’t make a great deal of sense when your opponent has weapons with a known range… want to stay out of that….


Thats not the RN ethos….to always ‘stay out of range’
heavy torpedoes can have a very long range so some sort of anti torpedo capability- which is what the graphic is about- works like a CIWS for underwater


I guess how to “detect” UUV is important.

Other than active sonar, I think detecting UUV’s signal and distorting their navigation system is important. UUV needs navigation and “forward looking” measure.

item-1: It will be high-frequency sonar looking forward. As it is high frequency, the signal cannot travel long distance. So, an array of high-frequency “passive” sonars is needed.

item-2: It will be GPS guidance. As it needs surfaced antenna, UUV will be forced to reach surface every few days, and active sonars aiming at that range will be good. If it is GPS, GPS jamming might work. If most of the UUVs are “grounded”, then mission is done.

item-3: UUVs may use Inertial Navigation System. But, high-accuracy INS is expensive, and being expensive means less number. And, to my understanding, INS is not accurate enough for a few days of navigation around shore. So, item-1/2 comes in again.

Related, deploying trawlers net will be very good way to counter UUV. The net can be with large mesh, so that many of the fishes can escape. Yes, UUVs can “avoid” the net, but it needs sensors to do that. And if it is high-frequency sonar, the defense side can detect it.

I know this is a bit too simplified, but this kind of “negating enemy kill-chain” is essencial.

Supportive Bloke

Quantum inertial guidance….


Thanks for the link. Is it the same one now trialed on Navy-X vessel?

Anyway, if it is expensive and/or power consuming, then it is not a problem.

“Expensive and large UUVs” cannot be numerous.

This is my point.

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

1) The DP61 (and subsequent) anti-saboteur gun is another option.
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2) Munitions:

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Sinking enemy UUV is not a big issue. Black Scorpion mini-torpedo is designed to fit within sonobuoy canister. This mean, literally dozens of them can be carried on Merlin, and even Wildcat.

Detecting enemy UUV is the main problem.

It will be very similar to mine-detection operations? In that case, MCM-USV can be deverted to be a AUUVW-USV.

“Catching” the UUVs using nets be also a good candidate? Then a trawler-like vessels will come in, like the River-class mine sweepers?

A floating-mine like “permanent sonobuoy” powered by solar-panel, anchored in the region, sending signals to land-based “AUUVW-center” can be the answer? Defensive side may not need to “swim around”, but stationed in line will be OK. In choke points, this type of sensor may work well (a micro-SOSUS). As a side effect, enemy SSK will also see big difficulty to sneak in the choke points.

Many ideas must be discussed, trialed, and then purchased.


Most of what you discuss above has already been trialled in the 5th Fleet area. During one of the frequent multi platform trials they had a solar powered buoy with cameras and a data link. There would be no reason why a FLASH type sonar could not hang from below it.
Other trials involve RIBs with various sensor packages fitted.

[…] like its aircraft carrier cousins, the submarine may become obsolete soon. That’s because of the rise of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV). While unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) get all the spotlight […]