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Why the United States Needs SURTASS LFA Sonar

The challenges faced by the U.S. Navy today are very different from those faced at the end of the Cold War nearly three decades ago. An increasing number of diesel-electric submarines are being operated by a growing number of nations worldwide. Due to the advancement and use of quieting technologies in undersea vessels, threats faced by the U.S. Navy are becoming increasingly difficult to locate using the passive acoustic technologies that were effective during the Cold War. The range at which U.S. anti-submarine (ASW) assets are able to identify submarine threats is decreasing and at the same time improvements in torpedo design are extending the effective weapons range of those same threats (Benedict, 2005).

Sonar Systems

In 1975, long range detections provided many hours to react. In 2000, short range detections provide only minutes to react.
Passive Sonar System
Low Frequency Active Sonar will regain long range detections, providing many hours to react.
Low Frequency Active Sonar System

To meet the need for long range submarine detection, the U.S. Navy investigated the use of a wide variety of both acoustic and non-acoustic technologies. Of the technologies evaluated, LFA sonar was the only one capable of meeting the U.S. Navy’s long-range ASW detection needs. SURTASS LFA sonar provides quantifiable improvements in the U.S. Navy’s undersea detection capability and in sailor’s survivability by extending the amount of time that naval forces have to react to potential threats.