General Dynamics Canada Completes TDP with DRDC Atlantic


General Dynamics Canada has completed its largest and most successful Technology Demonstration Program (TDP) with Defence Research and Development Canada Atlantic (DRDC Atlantic), demonstrating a torpedo-defence enhancement that will increase the level of protection for Canadian Navy ships.

The Multisensor Torpedo Detection Classification and Localization (MSTDCL) Technology Demonstration Program was initiated in 2006 by DRDC Atlantic to develop and demonstrate advanced concepts in multisensor automated torpedo warning for the Halifax-class patrol frigates. The potential lethality of even a single torpedo hit underpins the need for this type of detection capability. As the prime contractor, General Dynamics Canada supported DRDC Atlantic by providing analysis, design, development, installation and support, culminating in the development of a prototype underwater warfare system called Pleiades.

Over the course of the five-year TDP, the Pleiades system was used in realistic operational trials on several Halifax-class patrol frigates to respond to more than 100 live, unscripted torpedo firings. “The Pleiades system has demonstrated that with modern hardware and software architecture, we can provide processing and displays that make it possible for the sonar operator to detect and classify real torpedoes at useful operational ranges. Even without any change to the underwater sensors, Pleiades greatly outperformed the combined capabilities of existing Halifax-class sonars,” said Dr. Mark Trevorrow of DRDC Atlantic.

General Dynamics Canada is the original manufacturer of the highly-reliable antisubmarine sonar systems currently in use on the patrol frigates, and was selected through a competitive process for the project.

“Our longstanding relationship with DRDC Atlantic, a globally renowned defence research centre with world-leading expertise in anti-submarine warfare and mine and torpedo defence systems, has strengthened General Dynamics Canada’s inherent underwater intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance pedigree and expertise,” said Brian Fava, vice president of air and naval systems for General Dynamics Canada. “Pleiades offers a low-cost, low-risk solution to immediately improve Halifax-class ships’ torpedo detection capabilities, reducing the risk to the Canadian fleet in hostile environments.”

The technology developed during the demonstration uses an open hardware and software architecture, and a modular and flexible system design. Moving this technology from a demonstration prototype to an operational adjunct system enables future enhancements and a quicker transition of technology from the research lab into the fleet. DRDC Atlantic plans to do further research in the development of new techniques for reliable auto-detection of torpedoes.

General Dynamics Canada is a leading systems integrator of complete command, control, communication, computing, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions with an international pedigree for excellence in the production and long-term support of technology-based, integrated solutions for land, airborne and maritime applications.
Source: generaldynamics, July 15, 2011;