A European-firm, Atlas Elektronik has won the competition to equip Indian Navy’s indigenous Delhi class and Russian-origin Talwar class warships with its sonar system.
The Navy officials were quoted as saying by Press Trust of India (PTI) that the firm is the lowest bidder and the Defence Ministry is yet to declare its final decision on the deal.
"Atlas Elektronik has won the competition for the ATAS, which will equip the Delhi and Talwar class ships initially and subsequently be manufactured in India under cooperation with Bharat Electronics Limited," Atlas Elektronik's India head Khalil Rahman said.
According to the report, the first six systems will be manufactured at the company's facilities and the follow-on batches would be manufactured in Indian under the Transfer of Technology (ToT) arrangement.
Rahman said an ATAS is necessary for detection of submarines and torpedoes and in today's underwater warfare environment the determining advantage is to detect a submarine beyond the weapon range (of the submarine), thereby denying offensive capability.
"The Indian Navy's ATAS project is therefore a key element of the strategy to secure Indian waters. The project is destined to be rolled out to various classes of ships including Delhi, Talwar, Kamorta, Shivalik and Kolkata," he said.
Company officials said the towed array sonar provided by ATLAS permits observation of the sea space at ranges considerably above 60 kilometers, depending on the propagation conditions of the water. This gives the sonar an operational range that by far exceeds that of radars and the weapons range of submarines.
"The system is therefore not only ideal for hunting submarines but also for the wide-area reconnaissance of surface combatants," Rahman said.
Last December 2013, the Thai navy had also placed an order for ATLAS 70mm ACTA towed array sonars.