Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems has been awarded an order for sonobuoys by the MoD.

Sonobouys are airdropped acoustic submarine detection devices.

The cpntract runs over the next three years, with an option to include additional sonobuoy deliveries for another three years, potentially taking the contract to 2024 say Ultra.

“This latest order builds on the long-term relationship that Ultra has with the MoD, having delivered sonobuoys to the MoD over the last 15 years.”

Managing Director of Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems, Mike Williams, said:

“Sonobuoys remain the backbone of our business, and we are delighted to receive this order for the MoD. We highly value their trust in us and our ongoing relationship.”

Ultra CSS began manufacturing sonobuoys at its Greenford facility in 1949 and has made nearly 1.3 million units to date at that facility.

Director Helicopters at the MoD’s procurement agency, Defence Equipment and Support, Graham Russell said:

“This contract with Ultra demonstrates how we, in Defence Equipment and Support, are building on collaborative relationships with industry to deliver innovative equipment to the UK Armed Forces.

As a supplier of sonobuoys to the UK Royal Navy, it ensures that this equipment remains in-service and readily available for years to come.”

The company also advise that separately to this new MoD contract, its design engineers are also currently working on a miniaturisation programme, which could ultimately see the sonobuoys it makes reduce in size and weight but improve in performance.

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Captain P Wash

1.3 units to date . Wow, How amazing is that ?

Glass Half full

Sounds a lot! 🙂


bog standard DIFAR Buoys


these are bog standard DIFAR buoys


do they get picked up or left?

H4cked Off

Operating life 0.5, 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours preselectable, and then they scuttle themselves…


russian trawlers used to collect them

Harry Bulpit

Could these be used buy wildcat as a standing for dipping sonar?

H4cked Off

In theory I suppose… but the ones shown are passive sonobuoys, whereas dipping sonar can operate in passive or active modes. Need active for v quiet targets…

There are active sonobuoys, but again, they only operate for max 8 hours.
Might need more than 1.3million 😉

Also, you need all the uplink/receive kit, so something else might have to give in the Wildcat…?

Harry Bulpit

Fair enough.


Could use the wildcat to help maintain a buoy field but that seems a waste. Best to use ASW Merlin with Posidion to locate an track and the wildcat for attack.