At Euronaval 2016, Thales launched its new compact CAPTAS-4 towed array sonar, which provides frigates with an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability to support collaborative combat at sea.
The new product is a compact, modular version of the CAPTAS-4 four-ring sonar. It requires less room on board the vessel, in particular because it incorporates an optimised deployment and recovery system for the towed array. The compact version of CAPTAS-4 delivers the same detection performance as CAPTAS-4 with 20% weight reduction and a 50% smaller footprint. In addition, the compact version can be containerised, making it the only product of its kind that can be moved from ship to ship to maximize operational effectiveness.
Any frigate equipped with the new CAPTAS-4 compact will have the same collaborative anti-submarine warfare capabilities as a destroyer. Thales is proposing to supply compact versions of CAPTAS-4 to the French Navy under the FTI (Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire) programme, which was officially unveiled by the defence ministry at Euronaval 2016.
The two-ring CAPTAS-2 version and the four-ring CAPTAS-4 version provide very long-range detection capabilities and are designed for corvettes and FREMM-type multi-mission frigates. Thales already expanded the range in 2014, adding the CAPTAS-1 sonar for small surface combatants and patrol vessels. These towed array sonars can also be deployed in association with hull-mounted or dipping sonars for collaborative operations.