Probing the Ocean for Submarines – Additional Information

Title: Probing the Ocean for Submarines: A History of the AN/SQS-26 Long-Range Echo-Ranging Sonar
(2nd Edition)

Author: Thaddeus G. Bell

Publisher: Peninsula Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-932146-26-7

Pages: 264

Binding: Soft cover

This book presents the history of the design and development from 1955 to 1975 of the AN/SQS-26 echo-ranging sonar for submarine detection from ocean escorts (DEs). The sonar was the first to utilize long-range bottom reflection and convergence zone paths, in addition to the more conventional surface-duct paths. These long-range paths are little affected by submarine depth. In deep water a “bottom bounce” active detection range out to as far as 25 miles is possible, where the bottom is sufficiently reflective. In shallow water the bottom is normally reflective enough to permit echo ranging out to as much as 20 miles via multiple bottom reflections. If the water depth is sufficient, a “convergence zone” is also available from deep refraction paths converging over a narrow annular detection zone with an outer extent up to 40 miles from an echo-ranging source.

The book describes AN/SQS-26 echo-ranging detection performance using these long-range paths against surface ships of opportunity, U.S. submarines and Soviet submarines on patrol. Starting about 1975, digital upgrades of the original design were produced for destroyers, guided missile destroyers, and guided missile cruisers. The upgrades are currently being installed at this writing (2011) on the new construction of today’s DDG-51 class guided missile destroyers. In the early 1980s the major characteristics of this surface ship active sonar were also incorporated into the bow array sonar of USN submarines.

The historical information presented should be of interest to operational commands, sonar designers, research scientists, undersea warfare tacticians and those involved in resource-allocation decisions for research, development and production programs.

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