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Good news that things are progressing fast in this department. The urgency to deploy systems of this ilk underscored by Russia’s threats and actual aggression.

Bloke down the pub

The Royal Canadian Navy use the Geospectrum TRAPS towed reelable sonar system as an add on containerised sonar on their Kingston class opvs. Something similar for the Rivers would seem to be a sensible way to go.


Are we? I know that we put in an order for some, but have yet to hear of them being used, let alone delivered.


Thats what the UK’s Krait Defence system is as well…


Interesting achievement, but not convincing.

I understand ASW is more and more multi-static. Without data transfer, XLUUV’s TAS cannot join the multi-static game as a node. However, if it is coupled with towed floating buoy with satcom or com-link to MALE UAV (such as SkyGuardian), it can join the multi-static ASW game.


I know it’s a daft question but what weapons does the RN use if they locate a submarine? Is it still a stingray lightweight torpedo from a wildcat? I’m guessing we moved on from depth charges.

Supportive Bloke

Heavy torpedo from a Merlin.

Wildcat is not the ASW platform.


Stingray torpedo from Merlin, AND Wildcat, both. In recent trials onboard HMS Trent, Wildcat almost always carried two Stingray, for certification, I guess.

Wildcat in ASW roles has always been a “torpedo deployer”. And, yes, it primary roles are always utility and anti-surface. ASW is just a secondary role.


Depth charges are still in stock…they were trialled from Merlin. Not sure if Wildcat has ever carried out trials for them though.

They still have a place….in fact for destroying easy targets like UUV’s they’re far prefereable,,,


MK75 Sting Ray from Merlin, Wildcat and MTLS. Merlin can prosecute and attack using MK75. Wildcat can only drop on a location using MATCH/Vectac. T23 can launch from its 4 tubes.
DC MK 11 is still in service and carried by the aircraft. Useful for use in V shallow water or against surfaced targets. Its can also be used as a “shot across the bows” for things like a VLCC who probably won’t see a 30mm hitting the water.


This seems to be excellent technology. The Manta is a good size to fit in a frigate boat bay, so I don’t see why it needs to have long independent endurance. If a Type 31 can operate two of them alternately, and have a Merlin on standby, isn’t that the basis of a continous ASW system?

It doesn’t have to be Captas standard. The Type 31 is a second tier frigate and if it has a second tier ASW capability, that’s okay because it will only improve over time as the battery powered XLUUV gets even quieter and the thin-line array becomes more sensitive.

But in order for the combination to improve, the navy has to keep ordering new versions, not just evaluating them. Having an initially operational system ready for the 2026 work up of HMS Venturer seems like a reasonable target.


See the SEADrix for an even better solution…uses the same Krait Array from SEA and the iXBlue unmanned surface vessel for 8 days duration.


Autonomous off board sensors are the way to go. But these aren’t replacements for boats.

And our escorts still need to be quiet.

They will need endurance to keep up with fleet speeds. What enters service will have to be much bigger.

And probably for choke points such as GUIK a ship with a large towed VDS that could accommodate a helicopter and or missiles would be better. Especially if a good sized air search radar is fitted too.

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Supportive Bloke

They will need endurance to keep up with fleet speeds. What enters service will have to be much bigger.”

How does this work ATM?

At cruise speed sonar is pretty much blinded?


I should imagine they will sprint and drift. But they will need to big enough to keep up with or even a head of the fleet. I can’t see these being much smaller than say a few thousand tonnes. About the size of an O boat.


I would suppose in theory you could use it very much like a very large self locomotive sonar buoy. With an escort ship moving into a forward position of say a carrier group movement dropping it off. Then it could slowly move looking for contacts as the carrier groups overtakes and it could be picked up by a tailing ship, then rinse and repeat, with the mission bays in the RN escorts it gives them an option to do do this sort of evolution. It would allow the sensor platform to operate at the slow speed needed for ASW work. I do think there is going to be a lot of operational work around autonomous vessels as they develop as will as how the escorts based around mainly autonomous capability opportune in a task group. To could see a future where T31 and T32 do not operate in the same way as a traditional escort screen but spend their time moving around and deploying/redeploying assets.

I think navel warfare is heading to a paradigm shift to the same level as the move from wind power and wood to coal and iron or of the dominance of air and sub sea power. What I think is holding it back is fixed view on limitations on range and or speed. But these will be managed by a change in paradigm, as subs with limited underwater range and speed or aircraft with tiny ranges changes navel warfare for ever when people learnt how to operate them effectively so will autonomous vessels, but like navel aviation they will need the navel to adept the shape. Operations and role of some warships to maximise the use of the new asset.

stephen ball

The only thing I like about these system’s is if ever a space mission was to go the Jupiter Europa moon.

So can see a lot of money is on the cards to invest for these systems.


Krait Arrays come in 50 metre sections which can be configured to run 150 metres as this test. They can also be custom made in shorter versions as required by the customer for various applications.


Let’s hope we can use this in the North Atlantic, maybe controlled by Faslane? It would free up our scarce Nuclear subs…

Trond R. Ramsland

Obviously this UUV enhanced STASS should be deployed to, and operated from, areas to which OPFOR submarines operate. Primarily that would be Norway adjacent to the the RU Northern Fleet operating submarines. Such deployments would correspond to our practice of USN USNS T-AGOS ships such as ABLE, LOYAL, INVINCIBLE etc. operating concept since the mid – 1980ies, as well as routine US|UK|FR SSN deployments to the Barents Sea supported by port infrastructure at Bergen & Tromsø. That’s were the most relevant submarines currently operate. There is an immense potential to establish new concepts, also in conjunction with LR MPAs such as UK|US|NOR P-8A Poseidons that operate in the Norwegian & Barents Sea.


Its interesting tech but how do we stop it being hijacked by unfriendly powers? And what’s to stop someone cutting the towed array (and even making off with it – didn’t a Russian sub do this recently to one of our Type 23’s arrays)??

Robert Barker

Conquerer did to a Russian in 82……. that was just after its work down south.

Roger Exwood

Assuming the Russia-Ukraine war runs on well into 2023, it might be possible on that timescale to deploy this combination from the Ukrainian coast. Light enough to airfreight into Ukraine, hence getting round the problems the Treaty of Montreux causes.


Americans seem to be focusing on their MANTA XLUUV being a covert minelayer. Though under the 1908 Hague convention untethered mines which are active for more than an hour are illegal.

Julian Edmonds

Would this be able to track and hit Putin’s Tsunami Bomb?