AN/SQR-18A(V) Sonar Tactical Towed Array System (TACTAS)
TACTAS is a long cable full of microphones that is towed about a mile behind the ship. It is towed so far behind the ship so as to not let noise radiating from the shipitself interfere with the noise picked up from targets. Using that noise can determine exactly what ship or submarine is being tracked. The AN/SQR-18A(V)3 is a new, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) implementation of a high performance passive towed array system. The system is smaller, more maintainable, and lower cost than existing, equivalent passive sonars. Open system architecture design and standard Tactical Computer displays provide a smooth path for system integration and addition of new functions or upgrades. Using the same handling equipment as the AN/SQR-18A(V)2 and SQR-19, it complements the SQR-18 Towed Array already Installed on FF-1052 KNOX class frigates.
The surface force slowly evolved from a sensor/weapon suite based on the SQS-26, ASROC, and LAMPS I to one that included by the mid 1980s a passive towed array and the longer range LAMPS III. The LAMPS/towed array combination revolutionized surface ship ASW capabilities by combining the detection ranges heretofore only achieved at the tactical level by submarines deploying large, below layer, passive arrays with the rapid, long range prosecution capabilities provided only by air ASW assets. Waypoints in this transformation included: first experiments and initial deployments with ITASS surveillance arrays towed from VDS fish on specialized surveillance ships in 1970; first experiments and deployments with interim tactical towed arrays (SQR-18) on USS Moinester (FF 1097), and first experiments and deployments of a higher speed tactical array (SQR-19) on USS Moosbrugger (DD 980) in 1982.
Meteorology and Oceanography Center Detachment TACTAS support products describe oceanographic and acoustic conditions (using range dependent models) in the prosecution area for towed array ships tasked by CTF-69 for ASW operations. This message is provided when own ship Sonar In-situ Mode Assessment System (SIMAS) or the Mobile Environmental Team's Mobile Oceanographic Support System MOSS) are not available. It is tailored to the specific towed array carried onboard. The message is transmitted prior to the start of a prosecution and daily thereafter or as requested.
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