Sonar 2031Z development at Waverley electronics

WAVERLEY ELECTRONICS, WEYMOUTH

Terry Fowler writes:

This company had been given a small contract to take the Admiralty Research (Portland) designs of a system for the Navy called Type 2031Z Towed Array Sonar and produce production drawings and build and install the first system for Type 22 destroyers.

The MoD said that they were tired of being ripped-off by the larger electronics companies and as an experiment gave the contract to WAVERLEY.

The company was quite small, about 40 people and the contract (about £36K) was quite large for them and they were told to recruit a project manager which is where I came in.

With luck and expertise, I built the contract value up to about a million pounds a year in 1982.

The first system was installed on HMS Beaver, a Type 22 frigate, during one Saturday alongside in Portland. I had arranged for the ship to be made ready for the installation to take place but the captain was quite amazed to be told about 5 o’clock that everything was installed and working.

WAVERLEY was taken over by DOWTY ELECTRONICS and eventually I was effectively told I was too old and too expensive and made redundant.

Dowty Maritime Systems - 2031Z Towed Array Sonar
Original photo in the Dowty archive at the Gloucestershire Heritage Hub
Dowty Maritime Systems - 2031Z Towed Array Sonar
Original photo in the Dowty archive at the Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

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