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Signaal's answer to the future low level air threat: UMBRELLA.

Signaal's Answer to the Future Low Level Air Threat: UMBRELLA

The increasingly ominous low-level air threat is expected to assume dramatic proportions by the mid-1990s, when all the advanced electronic developments of the present day will have found their way into the weaponry and aiming technologies for helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and missiles. Hollandse Signaalapparaten B.V., a leading Dutch firm in land-based air defence systems since the early fifties, has been actively developing the required technology to cope adequately with the realities of the future threat. UMBRELLA, still the best protection against downpours for a man caught in the open, was chosen as the nickname for Signaal's new system philosophy.

Based on the requirements derived from future threat analyses and on the trends indicated in NATO and other studies, UMBRELLA's effectiveness will depend on super-sophisticated surveillance combined with efficient command and control facilities. One particular aspect of the future threat that was carefully considered in defining the new system philosophy is the high probability of saturation attacks by a mix of weapons and vehicles. Saturation attacks force the defence to use all available weaponry in the most effective way.

The technological aspects of the threat provided the basis for choosing UMBRELLA's technologies and equipment. The choice was determined by the need for a sensor network in combination with a [C.sup.2] network capable of automatically processing and transmitting accurate, secure and real-time data to a variety of weapons.

Apart from modifying existing systems, the first developments concentrated on the addition of supplementary elements to the existing range of surveillance sensors, specifically cost-effective 3D radar and passive surveillance sensors matched with [C.sup.2] equipment. Now under development, all radars of this new family, called SKYSPY, will be integrated with advanced command and control facilities for automatic threat evaluation and weapon assignment.

While the 2D versions of the SKYSPY family are still under development, the 3D version is already in production.

For the 3D system, Signaal has selected the multi-beam antenna principle, which is better suited to fulfill the 3D requirement than phased-array radars. With intrinsically superior cost and surveillance advantages, the 3D multi-beam SKYSPY also has a high update rate over the total search volume in a multi-target environment under severe jamming and clutter conditions.

The main features and advantages of the 3D multi-beam SKYSPY are: * High data rate for full elevation coverage (0 [degrees] - 70 [degrees]) * Fully coherent TWT driver * Heli-classification * Special helicopter detection zones * FFT Doppler processing and digital beam-forming * Automatic detection and tracking * Instrumented range 75 km * Detection range (typical fighter) 42 km.

Because the SKYSPY radar and [C.sup.3] hardware, called ACE (Air Defence Command and Control Equipment), can be housed at a sufficient distance from each other to reduce battle damage, the UMBRELLA system is suited for deployment both in the defence of critical points such as small airfields and bridges and over a wider area.

UMBRELLA has been designed to make use of as much existing standard hardware and software as possible. The use of SIGMA (Signaal Modular Architecture) allows the system, to be updated without modifying the whole system.

PHOTO : Hollandse Signaalapparaten B. V. in the Netherlands is now producing the 3D member of the

PHOTO : Skyspy family of radars.
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Title Annotation:Hollandse Signaalapparaten B.V. research of land-based air defense
Publication:Armada International
Date:Oct 1, 1989
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