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Sea eyes and ears: in a never-ending process to keep older and newer ships on the crest of the wave, defence manufacturers in Europe, North America and Africa continue to furnish the world's navies with a range of radar, sonar and electro-optical sensors that can enhance vessel situational awareness and enable them to interface with existing combat management systems and other sensors.


Germany's Atlas Elektronik, a joint ThyssenKrupp and Eads subsidiary since 2006, has enjoyed success with its 9600 Arpa I-band navigation radar, which equips the Royal Australian Navy's Anzac class and the German Navy's Sachsen class frigates. Atlas also produces the CSU-90 hull-mounted search radar which is found on the Dolphin class SSKs of the Israeli Sea Corps, the Marinen (Royal Swedish Navy's) Gotland class and the South African Navy's Manthatisi class diesel electric submarines.

In terms of sonar products, Atlas Elektronik builds the ASO 04-41 hull-mounted system which equips the Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (Royal Malaysian Navy) Laksamana class corvettes and the Absalon class command and support vessels of the Kongelige Danske Marine (Royal Danish Navy). Furthermore, Atlas Elektronik produces the DSQS-24C hullmounted search and attack sonar on the Koninklijke Marine (Royal Netherlands Navy) De Zeven Provincien class frigates with the DSQS-24B variant that is used on Germany's Sachsen ships. The German Navy's Hameln class minesweepers carry the DSQS-11M hull-mounted system and the U212/U214 submarines have the Atlas MOA-3070 mine detection system.

BAE Systems' Insyte business unit will provide the Sampson multi-function radar for the Royal Navy's forthcoming CVF future aircraft carriers. This system also equips the Royal Navy's Type-45 destroyers.

Insyte produces Type-911 radars for the Type-22 Duke class frigates and the HMS Invincible aircraft carrier, with the Type-909 fire control radar also equipping the Invincible along with the Type-996 E/F-band surface-search system. However, Invincible's sister ship, the Ark Royal, is equipped with the company's Type-992 E/F-band system for this task. BAE Systems supplies the 1802 fire control radar for Malaysia's Leiku class corvettes.

Eads has furnished the final six Danish Flyvefisken class multirole vessels with the company's TRS-3D/16 air search radar. This system has a range of up 200 km (107 nm) and a C-band version of the radar equips the German Braunschweig class corvettes.

Saab Microwave Systems' Sea Giraffe three dimensional (3D) radar equips Qatari, Swedish, Canadian, Australian and Malaysian ships, meanwhile Saab's Ceros-200 combined radar and optronic fire control system is used on the Skjold class fast attack craft of the Royal Norwegian Navy. The Ceros-200 has a low-altitude target-tracking algorithm called Chase, giving the radar capabilities against sea-skimming missiles. Saab says that the Ceros-200 has good retrofit potential, allowing it to be installed with relative ease during vessel upgrade programmes. The company also produces the EOS-500 target tracking and fire control system, which can be used for general observation, three-dimensional tracking, surveillance and target detection. The modular design of the EOS-500 allows it to be easily upgraded. Terma of Denmark produces the Scanter Mil E/F- and I/J-band radar used on the Republic of Singapore's Formidable class frigates and Danish, Swedish and German vessels.

Italy's Selex Sistemi Integrati builds several products for the Marina Militare (Italian Navy); supplying the Empar G-band phased array surveillance, tracking and fire control radar for the Cavour aircraft carrier and the Franco-Italian Horizon class air-defence frigates. Selex also produces the MM/SPQ-702 search and SPN-748 navigation radar in service on the Italian Navy's San Giorgio class Landing Platform Docks (LPD). These vessels also have I- and J-band RTN-10X fire control radar. The Italian Navy uses the MM/SPS-768 D-band air surveillance radar which is in service on the Garibaldi aircraft carrier and Durand de la Penne class destroyers. Selex has also furnished the Commandante class destroyers with the Ran-30X/I X-band radar for surveillance, navigation and air traffic control. The company has sold its RTN-11L/X I/J band missile warning radar to equip the Armada Espafiola (Spanish Navy) Principe de Asturias aircraft carrier.


Along with Selex Sistemi Integrati, Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (Wass) is part of Italy's Finmeccanica group. Wass manufactures the SNA-2000 mine-avoidance sonar system which is used on Italy's Cavour aircraft carrier. The company also builds the TMS4110CL hull-mounted sonar in conjunction with Thales and this is deployed on Horizon air defence frigates.


In July 2008 Thales Nederland announced that India's Bharat Electronics had purchased the LW08 long-range search radar for the Indian Navy's Godavari class frigates. Delivery of the first system will occur in 2009 and builds on the earlier orders that the company has secured for the provision of LW-8 radar to equip the Viraat aircraft carrier, Brahmaputra class frigates and Kolkata and Delhi class destroyers.

Thales announced in April 2008 the sale of its Smart-S surveillance radar to the al-Bahriyya al-Malakiyah (Royal Moroccan Navy), along with the Lirod Mk 2 tracking radar and Kligklip sonar system.

Thales Nederland is meanwhile promoting their new Integrated Mast system. In December 2007, the Dutch Ministry of Defence awarded a contract to Thales to equip the country's Ocean class patrol vessels with the system. The Integrated Mast is a revolutionary design with radar, optronic systems, antennas and accompanying cabinets all housed in a single unit. The design frees-up more space in the superstructure by moving the sensor support systems into the mast. The mast can also be scaled and configured according to the customer's requirements. As the Integrated Mast consolidates a vessel's sensors into one place it significantly reduces the burden of shipbuilders who normally have to negotiate with several suppliers and contractors when installing a single radar or optical sensor system, by offering a single 'plug-and-play' design.


To control the Goalkeeper close-in weapon system used on the Dutch Rotterdam class LPDs, the vessels are equipped with a Thales Irscan Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) system, which can detect targets up to 20 km away. Meanwhile the Sirius LR-IRST long-range intra-red search and track system is used on the Dutch De Zeven Provincien class frigates and German's Sachsen vessels. Sirius provides long-range IR search and track in all weather conditions and, unlike a radar system, cannot be jammed. More recently, the system has been ordered for Canada's Halifax class frigates with acceptance trials of the new system beginning in 2009 and the rollout across the class expected to be complete by 2011. Meanwhile, the Franco-Italian Fremm class (Fr6gate multi-mission/Fregata Europea Multi-Missione) frigates are equipped with the company's Artemis IRST system for fire control.

Thales furnishes the Royal Navy's Vanguard class SSBN submarines with the CH91 attack periscope, which is equipped with a TV camera and thermal imager. Thales periscopes also outfit the Collins class SSK vessels of the Royal Australian Navy, which have both a CK043 and CH093 search and attack system. Canada's Victoria class long-range patrol submarines are equipped with Thales' CK35 search periscope and CH85 attack periscope. The company's CM010 periscope, equipping the Royal Navy's Astute class hunter killer boats, includes low-light television and thermal imaging sensors.

The Royal Navy's Vanguard class SSBNs, which are equipped with a Thales Underwater Systems Type-2054 composite sonar, are having this equipment upgraded. Lockheed Martin is leading an initiative to insert commercial off-the-shelf technology open architecture into the sonar to allow it to be upgraded more easily in the future.

ITT has produced the AN/SPS-48E 3D E/F-band air search radar system for the US Navy's San Antonio class LPDs, the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz aircraft carriers and the US Navy's Wasp class Landing Helicopter Dock. These ships are also equipped with an ITT AN/SPN-35A/B air traffic control radar.

The Kelvin Hughes Type-1007/8 I-band navigation radar is used by the Qatari, Malaysian, Brunei, Omani, Australian, French, British and Canadian navies. The company is also responsible for the Arpa I-band surface search radar system, which equips the Dutch Rotterdam class and Spanish Galicia class LPDs. Two of the company's newest products include their Sharpeye I-band radar, which can provide accurate navigational data even in high-clutter environments and enable the tracking of small surface craft and aircraft. Kelvin Hughes also produces an F-band version of the Sharpeye.


The Lockheed Martin AN/Spy-1 radar forms a crucial part of the Aegis combat system, equipping the US Navy's Arleigh Burke class destroyers and Ticonderoga class guided missile cruisers, together with the Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish and Republic of Korea navies. Lockheed Martin also produces the TB-29A towed array that equips the Virginia- and Los Angeles class nuclear attack submarines of the US Navy Four vessels of the Virginia class are already in service and another six are on the way.


Through its Sperry Marine subsidiary, Northrop Grumman has supplied its Bridgemaster-E I-band navigation radar to 50 navies worldwide. The radar is an evolution of a system that was originally designed for commercial vessels. The radar can alert the crew to high-speed incoming threats moving at up to 1100 km/h (600 knots). The Bridgemaster also has a 'freeze frame' function that allows the radar picture to be paused for the vessel to cease emissions to preserve radar silence for a time. Sperry Marine is also responsible for the AN/SPQ-8B X-band air and surface surveillance multi-mode radar which can detect all known anti-shipping threats even in conditions of extreme clutter.


Raytheon's AN/SPS-52C 3D long-range, E-band surveillance radar furnishes vessels belonging to the Spanish and Italian navies and the company's AN/SPS-49(V)4 C/D-band air surveillance radar system has been purchased by the US, Canadian and Australian navies for use on aircraft carriers and frigates. As well as selling to Italy and Spain, Raytheon has supplied AN/SPS-64(V)9 I/J band navigation radars for Germany's Hameln class minesweepers and the AN/SPG-51C G/I-band fire-control radar for the Marine Nationale (French Navy) Cassard class destroyers. Raytheon is currently developing the AN/Spy-3 X-band Active Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar, the first such shipboard system to be operated by the US Navy for the Zumwalt class destroyers.


In terms of sonar products, the company's SQS-56DE 1160 sonar is in service on the Polemiko Naftiko (Hellenic Navy's) Hydra class frigates along with the AN/SQQ-32 mine-hunting and classification system which is used on the US Navy's Avenger class mine countermeasures vessels. Raytheon has its BQS-13 and BQS-15 passive towed array and BQR-19 navigation sonar systems installed on several US submarine types, along with the Sads-TG active detection sonar which equips the Los Angeles class SSNs.

Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta subsidiary equips the country's Sa'ar class multi-mission corvettes with the EL/M-221 GM STGR fire control radar and the EL/M-2218S E/F-band air search radar, which is also found on the Republic of Singapore Navy's Fearless class fast attack craft.


El-Op provides the Multisensor Stabilised Integrated System (MSIS) EO day/night surveillance and fire control tracking system. The MSIS has an optional colour or black and white television camera, flir system, eye-safe laser rangefinder and a laser designator. The system equips Singapore's Fearless class fast attack craft. The Israeli company also builds the Compact Multi-Purpose Advanced Stabilised System (Compass), which is currently used by the Israeli Navy and by several other forces around the world. The Compass features a stabilised turret assembly, monitor and video cassette recorder. The turret includes a forward looking infrared system, eye-safe laser rangefinder or a diode pumped advanced designator, colour or black and white TV camera and a laser target illuminator.


Meanwhile, South Africa's Reutech builds the RTS-6400 X-band pulse Doppler combined optronics and radar tracking system which equips the country's Meko-200A class frigates and Valour class corvettes. The company has also developed the RSR-210N two-dimensional X-band pulse Doppler air and sea surveillance radar which has been ordered for Norway's Fridtjof Nansen class frigates and, according to the company, has recently been ordered by a prominent Nato navy. Meanwhile, Reutech's Seagull RSR-960 can be used as either a stand-alone radar or integrated into a ship's combat management system. The radar has a low-probability of intercept making it ideal for vessels performing covert operations.

The British Ministry of Defence has solicited proposals for a new Medium Range Radar (MRR) that will be rolled out across the surface fleet and installed on the Royal Navy's future CVF aircraft carriers. The MRR is intended to replace the current Type-996 E/F-band surface search radar with which several Royal Navy vessels are equipped. The Ministry is soliciting proposals from several companies offering to provide a new radar system to replace the Type-996, which has been in service on virtually every major Royal Navy surface combatant since 1986. Competing for the contract is BAE Systems Insyte, which has partnered with Qinetiq and is offering the Artisan 3D radar. Elta Systems has joined Ultra Electronics in offering the EL/M-223B system. Thales is offering the Smart-S Mk 2 radar.
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Title Annotation:Naval: sensors
Author:Withington, Thomas
Publication:Armada International
Date:Oct 1, 2008
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