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Cobra: the European counter-battery radar is on the way.

Cobra: the European Counter-battery Radar A counter-battery radar is a radar set designed to track the trajectory of incoming artillery and mortar projectiles (typically shells but possibly also rockets) and calculate the location on the ground they were fired from and where they will land.  Is on the Way

By 1992 France, Germany and the United Kingdom will start testing the first of three prototypes of a new longrange counter-battery radar designated Cobra. The multiple-function radar is being developed under a 100 pounds million (about FF1000 million) contract awarded on 14 February to the Euro-Art GmbH company in Germany - in fact a consortium composed of Siemens, Thomson-CSF, Thorn EMI Thorn EMI was a major British company involved in consumer electronics, music, defence and retail. It was created in October 1977 when THORN Electrical Industries merged with EMI to form one of the largest operating companies in the United Kingdom.  and General Electric. Although the initial requirement is essentially European at this stage, General Electric was brought into the consortium because of its experience in this field and the potential market foreseen in the New World.


As seen above, the multiple-function Cobra has been primarily developed as a counter-battery radar capable of locating and identifying enemy artillery and of tracking shell trajectories so as to predict their point of impact. However, owing to owing to
Because of; on account of: I couldn't attend, owing to illness.

owing to prepdebido a, por causa de 
 its potential capabilities, the Cobra could also be used for air-defence purposes, hence its multiple-function designation.

The Cobra radar will be a completely self-contained shelter unit carried by a single lorry to guarantee the highest possible degree of mobility. The most innovative feature of the Cobra radar is that its active antenna array Antenna array may refer to:
  • an interferometric array of Radio telescopes used in radio astronomy.
  • a Phased array, an electronically steerable directional antenna typically used in RADAR.
 is built around a new miniature transmit/receive module - a gallium arsenide-based monolithic microwave integrated circuit MMICs, or Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits, are a type of integrated circuit (IC) devices that operate at microwave frequencies (1 GHz to 300 GHz). They typically perform functions such as microwave mixing, power amplification, low noise amplification, and high  hybrid device (c.f. S. Geisenheyner's article on millimetre-wave radars and sensors in this issue) which actually acts as a tiny coherent radar. Four of these form "Quadrapack" assemblies designed as plug-in units for easy replacement. This design also offers the advantage of progressive performance degradation, i.e. the failure of one or more Quadrapacks does not noticeably affect the operation of the radar.


The key features of the Cobra are high mobility, low manpower requirements and ease of operation. The various functions of the radar are largely automated, thus enabling the Cobra to be set up and put into operation within minutes by only one man. The antenna, which is integrated in the shelter and raised mechanically, is fixed and scans electronically. It is also self-calibrating and air-cooled. Although performance data have not been disclosed, the Cobra is expected to have a detection range of about 30 km and a coverage of roughly 60[degrees] in elevation and 90[degrees] in azimuth azimuth (ăz`əməth), in astronomy, one coordinate in the altazimuth coordinate system. It is the angular distance of a body measured westward along the celestial horizon from the observer's south point. . It will be able to detect and identify the nature of an incoming projectile projectile

something thrown forward.

projectile syringe
see blow dart.

projectile vomiting
forceful vomiting, usually without preceding retching, in which the vomitus is thrown well forward.
 (single shells or salvoes, swarms of rockets, etc.) and locate the centre of an enemy battery with an accuracy of a few metres. Other features include protection against nuclear electromagnetic pulse and nuclear, bacteriological bac·te·ri·ol·o·gy  
The study of bacteria, especially in relation to medicine and agriculture.

 and chemical warfare. In addition to the highly redundant design of the antenna, survivability sur·viv·a·ble  
1. Capable of surviving: survivable organisms in a hostile environment.

2. That can be survived: a survivable, but very serious, illness.
 is enhanced by the short duration of the radar pulses and electronic counter-measures.


The three-year development phase costs are being shared equally by France and Germany (40 percent each), the remaining 20 percent being accounted for the United Kingdom. As far as the manufacturers are concerned this division is broken down as follows: 30 percent to Thomson-CSF, 30 percent to Siemens, 15 percent to Thorn EMI and 25 percent to General Electric (the latter being supported ten percent by France and Germany and five percent by Great Britain). In the production phase, each national industry's manufacturing share will be proportional to its government's initial investment.


According to present plans, the development phase will span three years - until 1993 - by which time the first two prototypes will have been delivered (in mid-1992 and 1993). The third prototype is scheduled to follow in 1994. Test and evaluation are to start shortly after the delivery of prototype 1 and stretch into early 1995, immediately followed by a one-year preproduction pre·pro·duc·tion  
1. Taking place or existing before production: preproduction planning.

 phase. The first production Cobra is expected to roll off the assembly lines towards the end of 1995, and current plans provide for a production rate of approximately ten units per annum Per annum

, meaning that the production of the Cobra Number 50 could be celebrated by the turn of the millenium.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Armada International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Armada International
Date:Apr 1, 1990
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