The US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has chosen Sonardyne International Ltd to supply multiple Sentinel sonar heads for the new Integrated Swimmer Defence System led by the Program Executive Office, Littoral Mine Warfare (PEO-LMW – PMS480).

In addition to the equipment provision, Sonardyne has also been awarded a contract related to the integration and deployment of Sentinel systems as part of an expeditionary warfare requirement.

The contracts, valued in excess of US$1 million, follow successful trials in October 2007 when the Sentinel Intruder Detection Sonar system was shown to meet the US Navy’s performance requirements for diver detection. Sentinel demonstrated rapid deployment and performance in an equipment package that is smaller, lighter and more cost effective than previous generations of anti-swimmer sonars.

Sentinel was developed by Sonardyne to meet the specific requirements of the expeditionary warfare community yet the system has already proved itself equally adaptable to other applications.

“Sonardyne’s success in developing Sentinel so quickly has proved the benefits of a close working relationship with the customer and a dedicated engineering team focussed on the task”

Rob Balloch, strategic development director for Sonardyne

Despite the use of sophisticated surface perimeter protection systems, underwater security has, until now, been acknowledged as the weakest link in the defence of ships and on-shore facilities. These have been vulnerable to underwater threats that include attack, sabotage or smuggling. Because of this, uses for Sentinel are expected to range from the protection of vessels such as cruise ships and superyachts, to underwater perimeter security for sensitive coastal assets including power stations, oil and gas terminals, strategic industry and ports and harbours.

Sonardyne has developed its Sentinel sonar by bringing together a world class team of scientists, engineers, and consultants with over 140 man-years of experience in the design and development of similar systems. The company is based in Yateley, UK with regional operating subsidiaries in the USA, Singapore and Brazil. It is a world leader in the design and manufacture of advanced acoustic instruments and systems for accurate survey, positioning and tracking applications for the offshore and ocean sciences industries.