Barnstaple company wins Business Innovation of the Year at national manufacturing awards

SEA, the Barnstaple-based defence and security electronic system specialist, was named as the national winner of the 2019 Business Innovation Award at the Make UK Manufacturing Awards Gala Dinner for its development of a technology for detecting submarines.

The award commended the development of KraitArray, an ultra-thin-line towed array, used for detecting underwater submarine signals. With anti-submarine technology benefiting from being as slim line and lightweight as possible, SEA’s solution reduces the size of an existing towed array by over 90% while improving the performance of the sensor.

Make UK National Awards Gala Dinner, East Wintergarden, London, 29 January 2020. Email: [email protected]

The function at East Wintergardens, Canary Wharf on Wednesday 29th January saw each of the regional winners compete for the national prize following a National Judging Day in December. SEA had previously been named regional winner at an event in Bristol in October.

Commenting on the Innovation of the Year Award, Chris Tucker, Principal Electronics Engineer, SEA, said: “I have been working on the development of the KraitArray for most of my career, so I am exceptionally proud to have been able to play a fundamental role in developing this innovative product into the award-winning solution it is today! We have always been confident in our technology as it has responded to a need for cost-effective and miniaturised solutions in the burgeoning and emerging unmanned and autonomous systems market. We have pushed technical boundaries to provide such cutting-edge technology so to be recognised nationally against such strong competition demonstrates that this is truly a unique capability, it is a fantastic achievement.”

Steve Hill, Managing Director, SEA, added: “The work that the team have put in to making the KraitArray a ‘best-in-class’ technology has been phenomenal. This project has enabled SEA to grow our market presence in naval sonar systems and secured the company’s reputation as an international supplier of cutting-edge technology within the maritime sector. The KraitArray has pushed technical boundaries and is unrivalled by its competitors, which is why this award is so well-deserved.”

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SEA is a subsidiary of Cohort plc – an independent technology company and the parent company of five innovative, agile and responsive businesses; Chess, EID, MASS, MCL and SEA, providing a wide range of services and products for UK, Portugal and international customers in defence, security and related markets.

SEA, acquired by Cohort plc in 2007, has over 30 years of experience in providing engineering and software design services to the UK and international defence, transport and offshore energy markets. The company supplies market-leading mission systems and equipment, communications, launchers and sensor systems to the maritime sector. Offering Maritime Combat Systems including platform-gnostic integrators, the company has also moved into the anti-submarine warfare domain. SEA also provides end-to-end research and design capabilities, including training services.

Employing around 300 high-calibre staff, SEA has offices in Beckington, Bristol, Barnstaple and Aberdeen.