QinetiQ has just announced the sale of four Towed Array Handling Systems (TAHS) to be used with the new S80 class of submarines being built by Navantia for the Spanish Navy. The multi-million Euro TAHS contract was won against strong international competition and is the culmination of many years research and development work by QinetiQ’s Underwater Systems business in Winfrith, Dorset.
QinetiQ’s TAHS has been designed to fulfil the needs of many of the world’s navies for compact, robust and effective solutions that minimise impact on other onboard systems, as space on any submarine is always at a premium. A key feature of QinetiQ’s TAHS design is its electric drive systems that offer many advantages over traditional hydraulic drives. In particular the improved control resulting from electric drives permits high reliability, flexibility in installation and reduced through life costs.
The QinetiQ system forms a key component of the overall Towed Array Sonar System being supplied to Navantia by the Spanish company Sociedad Anonima Electronica Submarina (SAES) based in Cartagena. A significant amount of the work, including much of the actual manufacture of QinetiQ’s system will be undertaken by Spanish companies under sub-contract to QinetiQ to fulfil Spanish offset requirements, and will be delivered between 2010 and 2012.
This contract is a significant milestone for QinetiQ as it is currently transforming its traditional UK MOD maritime research business to include the development and supply of solutions to both the Royal Navy and overseas customers.
The Spanish S80 programme could include up to eight submarines in two batches. The first unit of Batch one began construction in 2005 at Navantia's Cartegena yard. It is scheduled for commissioning in 2013 and will be followed by three additional units through 2016. A second batch could begin by 2014.