Tods Defence has commenced initial production of sonar domes for the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) Type 26 City-class frigates, the company told Jane's at UDT 2019.
The contract for three domes was awarded in 2016, and delivery is expected from mid-2020.
Initial production activity so far has seen the preparation of tooling and the start of construction of the aft fairings, with work on the main sonar domes to commence at the company's Portland facility shortly.
The new domes will be manufactured in carbon fibre using a resin film infusion (RFI) method. Compared to other methods, such as hand layup and vacuum infusion, RFI offers benefits in terms of efficiency and precision: less resin is required, it has a reduced risk of air bubbles, and the resulting structure is lighter and stronger.