General Dynamics Canada Announces Creation of New UW ISR Centre of Excellence


General Dynamics Canada, a pioneer in the development of underwater acoustic processing systems, today announced the creation of a new Underwater Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (UW ISR) Centre of Excellence.

The latest in a series of initiatives made to reinforce General Dynamics Canada’s underwater ISR technical and product leadership, the Centre is designed to accelerate the company’s research and product development efforts as naval fleets around the world look to reestablish this critical capability in the face of new threats.

According to Bob Nugent, vice president at naval market research and analysis firm AMI International, national security and economic stability are driving investment in new ship and submarine fleets that require underwater submarine warfare capability. “Global demand for submarines and associated ISR capabilities vital to providing effective deterrence is increasing. As an example, more submarines will be built or bought by Asian-Pacific navies over the next 20 years compared to any other region in the world.”

Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, close to key Canadian military naval and air bases, the General Dynamics UW ISR Centre of Excellence will leverage the company’s strong collaborative relationship with Defence Research and Development Canada – Atlantic (DRDC Atlantic), a globally-renowned defence research centre with world-leading expertise in anti-submarine warfare and mine and torpedo defence systems. Today’s announcement also builds on the company’s 2009 partnership agreement with Marport C-Tech Ltd., a leading sonar manufacturer, to jointly develop and market a suite of next-generation underwater acoustic products to support underwater military ISR missions.

“Underwater ISR capabilities are critical to the success of today’s littoral naval missions,” said David Ibbetson, general manager of General Dynamics Canada. “The General Dynamics Canada UW ISR Centre of Excellence will enable us to collaborate, innovate and accelerate the development of solutions to ensure naval personnel have the appropriate tools and information to sense and respond to underwater threats when they need them.”

The General Dynamics Canada UW ISR Centre of Excellence will be integrated into the company’s state-of-the-art 46,000 square foot facility in Halifax, which opened in 2008.  The centre will be staffed by an integrated team of hardware and software engineers and experts in underwater acoustics and naval sonar operations.  The team’s initial focus will be further development of the company’s flagship acoustic products.  Those include the MATADOR Torpedo Detection System and the TrailBlazer Mine and Obstacle Avoidance Sonar, a joint development effort between General Dynamics Canada and Marport.

The MATADOR Torpedo Detection System is an acoustic processing system optimized for torpedo detection and designed to be used with towed array sensors. The system’s open architecture and flexible interface allow it to be configured to work seamlessly with a range of sensors, taking advantage of their unique capabilities. Integrated within the system are sonar detection displays that provide operators a single-view summary of all acoustic data collected, as well as tools to allow rapid detection of torpedo signatures, accurate identification of torpedo bearings, and an interface for managing torpedo alerts and alarms.

TrailBlazer is a high-frequency, high-resolution sonar system designed for mine and obstacle avoidance (MOAS) on patrol vessels, corvettes, frigates and destroyers operating in littoral waters. It detects surface, moored and seabed mines, and provides high-resolution, real-time, 3-D, forward-looking sonar capability for safe navigation. In addition, it provides shallow-water hydrographic feature detection, which displays high-resolution images of small seabed features to operators for future examination.

General Dynamics Canada is a premier provider of defence electronic systems and a leading systems integrator of complete Command, Control, Communication, Computing, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions. The company has established an international pedigree for excellence in the production of technology-based, integrated solutions for land, airborne and maritime applications.

Source: prnewswire, May 19, 2011;