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SNMG2 works with NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Evaluation to help develop Multistatic Sonar Technology


MEDITERRANEAN SEA - SNMG2 works with NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Evaluation to help develop Multistatic Sonar Technology

This week, ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) engaged in a series of experiments with NATO’s Centre for Maritime Research and Evaluation (CMRE) based in La Spezia, Italy helping to develop cutting edge technology.

After completing Exercise Brilliant Mariner 17, SNMG2 headed to CMRE to prepare for a series of experiments and trials. This included embarking the state of the art underwater technology and equipment aboard HMS Diamond.

The first stage of the trial was designed to test the latest underwater technology and improve NATO’s ability to detect sub-surface objects and submarines.  CMRE’s underwater "glider” or autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) collected environmental data to support naval operations which are then relayed back to the SNMG2 ships. The SNMG2 ships use this data to calibrate their own sonars and to better understand the environment below the waves.

The next phases of the trials took place off the coast of the Greek island of Crete and then moved east, operating close to Aksaz, Turkey. The Greek submarine HS Okeanos and the Turkish submarine TCG Dolunay supported tests of multistatic sonar technology against "live” sonar targets.  Multistatic sonar involves sending sonar "pings” from several locations and these pings are then received in alternate detectors in different places. This allows better tracking and identification of submarines.    

"It was really impressive to see this technology operating in a live environment from a warship for the first time and I am excited to see how this integrates in the future,” said HMS Diamond crewmember Lt Cdr Paul Adkins of Royal Navy.

This research addresses the challenge of locating new generations of quiet diesel-electric submarines, especially when operating in shallow waters.  Submarines are particularly hard to locate in shallow water areas due to the amount of noise and reverberation found close to land.

The trials have been successful and are an important development in NATO’s ability to better detect submarines.  As this capability advances CMRE will continue to play a significant role in ensuring NATO is at the forefront of sub-surface warfare. CMRE serves as a focus point for Allied nations to work together on research and technology, using their combined resources to deliver world-class updates and technologies like this enable Allied navies to enhance their own capabilities in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) environment.

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