Thales and Leonardo support Polish Navy's ASW

Polish Navy to equip its helicopters with the latest anti-submarine warfare dipping sonars.

17 September 2020


Anti-Submarine Warfare: Polish Navy


The Polish Navy will equip its helicopters with the latest anti-submarine warfare FLASH SONICS dipping sonar and sonobuoy processing systems from Thales.

The Polish Navy will rely on Thales to equip its helicopters with four FLASH SONICS. According to Thales, the FLASH system (Folding Light Acoustic System for Helicopters) has become the benchmark system for the world's major navies.

Thales and Leonardo will work jointly with local industry partners, including the Polish aerospace and defence equipment manufacturer WZL1 and the Gdansk University of Technology (GUT), to meet the customer's requirements. GUT and WZL1 will benefit from transfers of technology for sonar maintenance on this programme.

Thales says FLASH is recognised by a large number of naval forces, including the US Navy, the UK Royal Navy, the French Navy, the Royal Australian Navy and the navies of the United Arab Emirates, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, the Philippines and now Poland. To date, over 400 FLASH systems have been delivered to a dozen navies around the world.

The key benefits of this low-frequency wideband sonar include long-range detection with broad sector coverage and low false alarm rates in open ocean as well as littoral waters.

Associated with an active and passive sonobuoy processing system, FLASH SONICS was initially designed for heavy helicopters such as the Merlin AW101 from Leonardo chosen by the Polish Navy. The system is also available in a compact version equipped with an electric motor for lighter helicopters like the AW159.

The FLASH system has been proven in operational deployments with numerous navies, making it a formidable threat for all types of submarines,” said Alexis Morel, vice president of Underwater Systems at Thales. “It is an important instrument of operational superiority for our client navies in their anti-submarine warfare operations."