Listening Sticks: US Navy Sonobuoy Contracts
December 17/15: The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) laboratories and the Anti-submarine Warfare Systems program office (PMA-264) rapidly developed a new sonobuoy launching system over the summer and fall which was delivered this November. The new system was developed as the existing system, the S-3, was being retired. A bit of brainstorming resulted in putting two SH-60B launchers on a pallet to roll on and off from a KC-130 tanker operated by the VX-30 Air Test and Evaluation Squadron.
Sonobuoys are used to detect and identify moving underwater objects by either listening for the sounds produced by propellers and machinery (passive detection), or by bouncing a sonar “ping” off the surface of a submarine (active detection). They usually float, or have at least some part of them that does. Specialized sonobuoys can also detect electric fields, magnetic anomalies, and bioluminescence (light emitted by microscopic organisms disturbed by a passing submarine); as well as measuring environmental parameters like water temperature versus depth, air temperature, barometric pressure, and wave height.
Sonobuoys are generally dropped from aircraft or helicopters that are equipped with a means to launch them, and electronic equipment to receive and process data sent by the sonobuoy. They can also be launched from ships. This entry will discuss some of the new sonobuoys in use, and cover related contracts.
Contracts & Key Events
FY 2014 – 2015
FY 2012 – 2013
FY 2009 – 2011
FY 2006 – 2008
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