U.S. Navy Announces Initial Operational Capability for SURTASS Twin-Line 29A Towed Array

The U.S. Navy has announced that the first Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) Twin-line 29A (TL-29A), developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin , is certified for deployment. The certification follows an extensive eight-month evaluation program, including five sea tests that demonstrated a robust and dependable sensor system capability. The array was developed from the TB-29A array architecture utilized on submarines.

The SURTASS TL-29A twin-line system is an underwater passive acoustic sensor with a pair of arrays towed side-by-side from a ship. The TL-29A delivers unsurpassed capabilities, such as its ability to be towed in very shallow water environments in the littoral zones, to provide significant directional noise rejection, to resolve bearing ambiguities without turning, and to allow the ship to tow at higher speeds.

"SURTASS TL-29A greatly enhances the Navy's ability to detect and track modern diesel electric submarines anywhere in the world," said Capt. Patrick F. Seidel, the U.S. Navy's program manager within the Program Executive Office for Littoral and Mine Warfare. "This is a significant step forward in the development of a common towed array architecture for both submarines and ocean surveillance. Combined with low-frequency active technology, this system represents the leading edge in acoustic sensors brought to the war fighter."

This is the first of six TL-29A systems that will support SURTASS vessels operating in the Western Pacific. The first deployment is scheduled for 1st Quarter, FY 2006, and is the culmination of years of engineering development. In addition to Lockheed Martin, the government, industry and university partnership includes the U.S. Navy, Chesapeake Sciences Corporation, L-3 Communications, Adaptive Methods, and Johns Hopkins University.

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 135,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin

CONTACT: Fred Henney, Lockheed Martin, +1-703-367-4440; e-mail: