Canada: Marport Deep Sea Technologies Inc. Wins Sonar Contract


Marport Deep Sea Technologies Inc., a leading developer of advanced sonar technology for commercial and military applications, announced today that it has been awarded a contract to manufacture the TrailBlazer Sonar for defence contractor General Dynamics Canada. The work will be carried out by Marport facilities in Ottawa and Cornwall, Ontario. Financial details were not disclosed.

TrailBlazer is a cost-effective, high-resolution sonar specifically designed for mine and obstacle avoidance on naval vessels operating in littoral or deep waters. The system uses a high frequency phased array transducer interfaced to Marport’s Software Defined Sonar® transceiver electronics, together with an open architecture, digital signal processing waveform suite with graphical user interfaces specifically tailored to mine and obstacle avoidance missions. The product is a result of ongoing co-development efforts between Marport and General Dynamics Canada.

The high directivity achieved through the narrow horizontal beams and variable horizontal transmission sector makes TrailBlazer well-suited for use in mine and obstacle avoidance in shallow waters – especially those with highly variable seabed topography. It will detect surface, moored and seabed mines and provides high resolution real-time 3D forward looking sonar capability for safe navigation.

Karl Kenny, Marport’s President and CEO said, “Maritime mines have caused major damage to naval forces, slowed or stopped commercial shipping and forced the alteration of strategic and tactical plans. The threat posed by these mines is increasing. Advanced mine obstacle avoidance sonars, such as TrailBlazer, can be very effective solutions against such underwater threats.”

Underwater mines have sunk or damaged more U.S. Navy ships than any other means of attack since the Korean War. Of the 18 U.S. Navy ships seriously damaged in operations since the Korean War, mines were responsible for 14 of these incidents. Between 1988 and 1991, three warships hit mines. Aggregate damage to the vessels exceeded $120 million, while the cost for the three maritime mines was approximately $13,000.

Foreign adversaries have learned from such asymmetrical success and as a result the current maritime mine threat is rapidly growing in scope and technological sophistication. A wide array of modern mine countermeasures systems are now being developed to enhance the capabilities of allied forces. A combination of innovative technologies, platforms, sensors, and training is key to the naval forces’ ability to achieve and maintain a robust countermine capability. As such, the mine countermeasures market is regarded as a “domain in growth” and is experiencing a high level of interest and activity. Some analysts have estimated that the worldwide market for mine countermeasures sensors is worth $400+ million per year.

About Marport Deep Sea Technologies Inc.

Marport is a world leader in the design and development of Software Defined Sonar® technology and systems for commercial fisheries, underwater defence, offshore energy and ocean science.
Source: Marport, May 13, 2011;