- Domes protect key surveillance, navigation and ranging systems in warships
- New composite design reduces maintenance requirements
The Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Ind., has awarded Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of Raytheon Technologies (RTX), a seven-year, $64 million Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to provide sonar domes for surface combat ships for the U.S Navy and Allied forces.
The agreement, which builds upon a previous five-year production contract, includes shipping, installation, engineering support, field services, inspection and repairs. Work will be produced by the Naval Programs (Engineered Polymer Products) group of the Aerostructures business unit at Collins Aerospace.
Sonar domes, located on the hulls of warships, protect critical electronic equipment used for detection, navigation and ranging. The domes permit acoustic energy to pass through with minimal sound transmission interference.
The contract includes domes made of a proprietary advanced composite material developed by Collins Aerospace that provides optimal structural and acoustic performance to the ship’s sonar system. This allows for enhanced detection and classification of underwater targets. These composite keel domes replaced traditional rubber domes on U.S. and Allied Navy frigates in 1997 because they require less maintenance and are expected to last more than 30 years even under the most extreme operating conditions.
“Our sailors are putting their lives on the line, and they need the most advanced solutions available to keep them safe. We’ve spent more than 25 years refining our sonar systems technologies and materials to do just that,” said Marc Duvall, president of Aerostructures at Collins Aerospace. “We’re honored to serve the men and women of the Navy and provide the technology they need to see deep into the seas they protect.”
To date, Naval Programs has supplied over 25 composite bow domes for U.S. Navy Virginia Class submarines, as well as more than 25 composite keel domes and 360 rubber bow windows for U.S. Navy surface ships.