Elbit Systems’ subsidiary GeoSpectrum Technologies (GTI), headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, announced the completion of successful trials of its Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS) onboard the Kingston class coastal defence vessel HMCS Glace Bay (MM 701) in service with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). She is homeported at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax, Canada’s east coast naval base and homeport to the RCN Atlantic Fleet, known as Canadian Fleet Atlantic (CANFLTANT) and forming part of the Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT). According to GTI, tests of its TRAPS sonar system onboard another Kingston class vessel, HMCS Shawinigan (MM 704), were completed during September 2018. The performance trials of TRAPS onboard HMCS Glace Bay were conducted by both the Department of National Defence (DND) and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), the latter representing the national leader in defence and security science and technology.
GTI’s TRAPS sonar system showed “great potential through the trials period,” according to the company, meeting predicted ranges in target detection, in both passive and active modes against different targets. TRAPS is a low frequency (LF) Variable Depth Sonar (VDS), which is intended for detecting, tracking and classifying underwater threats like submarines and torpedo weapons, as well as surface ships. The sonar system was designed as a single-tow Vertical Projector Array (VPA), eliminating the need for the special handling required to deploy and retrieve towed VPAs. By reeling the projector directly onto the winch drum, unique over-boarding equipment, ship time and manpower are greatly reduced while relevant data collection is improved. When in service with the RCN, TRAPS enables surface assets like the Kingston class coastal defence vessels and the new-construction Henry DeWolf class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) to expand their capabilities in the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role. There is a growing need to develop and acquire advanced ASW capabilities. Elad Aharonson, General Manager of Elbit Systems’ ISTAR Division, confirmed that growing interest in the company’s underwater warfare portfolio becomes increasingly important in many parts of the world, including Canada.