Maritime security company, Sonardyne International Ltd, UK, has reached the latest delivery milestone in a contract to supply a fleet of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) under construction in the Far East, with its diver detection sonar technology, Sentinel.
Two ship-fit Sentinels have now been tested and delivered with more to follow, as part of a wider contract to equip each OPV with a fully integrated force-protection capability. Working with MARSS Group’s NiDAR long range maritime surveillance system, the Sentinels will provide complete underwater domain awareness by detecting unauthorised divers and subsurface vehicles approaching the OPVs and the assets they protect.
Offshore patrol vessels are becoming an increasingly relied upon resource for navies and coast guards worldwide in the fight against piracy, drugs, terrorism and mine warfare. The OPV platform is advancing in its versatility thanks to new developments in shipbuilding technologies, allowing vessels to be configured for a number of different missions, using Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) equipment, such as Sentinel.
The ability to reliably detect underwater intruders or vehicles in real-time at long range is essential to provide ample time for ship security officers to react to a security breach. Vital minutes can make the difference between successful threat interception and divers and vehicles being able to deliver their attack.
Sentinel detects, tracks and classifies underwater threats at up to 1,200 metres range to provide a rapidly deployable perimeter intrusion capability to help safeguard commercial harbours, naval vessels, private yachts, critical national infrastructure (CNI) and waterside residences.
For this contract, the Sentinel sonar heads will be deployed from the OPVs using bespoke through-hull technology developed by MARSS to occupy a minimal footprint within each hull. Controlled and monitored by Nidar, the sonars can be lowered automatically to establish an instant, 360 degree monitored zone around large naval ships at anchor, or the entry to a port or harbour.
Speaking about the contract, Ross Gooding, Business Development Manager for Maritime Security with Sonardyne said, “This has been an exciting project for us and our partners at MARSS to be involved with; reaching this latest milestone demonstrates our combined commitment to supply, install, commission and support this important new OPV fleet in the region for many years to come.”