About the book


The UK’s Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) was a world leading centre for aerospace research and development in the Twentieth Century.

Hardly known is the vital role scientists at the RAE played in Cold War Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). The book covers the early history of UK airborne ASW in World War 1 through to the present day and also how sonobuoys were used to shadow USSR submarines.

Early ASW aircraft had no means of detecting submerged submarines until air dropped acoustic sensors (sonobuoys) were invented by the UK’s Professor Blackett during World War 2 to help counter the U boat threat to Allied convoys.

The RAE became the UK’s centre of excellence for sonobuoy system research and development in the late 1940s. The book is a unique insider’s view of UK airborne ASW as the author worked at Farnborough for many years and has been helped by ex MOD research establishment colleagues at Farnborough, Portland and Winfrith, UK industry scientists and US ASW experts.

The historical development of the UK’s Maritime Patrol aircraft and their ASW relevant systems are described as well as the sonobuoys themselves. Sonobuoys are a major success story for UK industry with Ultra Electronics having become the world’s leading supplier.

The book also contains an account of why the Nimrod MRA4 project went so drastically wrong, why the Boeing P 8A was ordered to eventually replace it and the story of the Thirty Year Development of the UK’s new Multistatics System (search fields of separate active transmit and receive sonobuoys).

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