Category Archives: Radars

Radars for Ukraine

Sensor specialist HENSOLDT is supplying four of its high-performance radars in record time for Diehl Defence’s IRIS-T SLM air defence system, which is designed to strengthen Ukraine’s defence capability. As part of an order from Diehl Defence worth a two-digit million euro sum, one of the TRML-4D radars has already been delivered, with three more to follow within a few months.

HENSOLDT’s TRML-4D multifunction radar provides superior detection capability (Graphic/Photo: HENSOLDT)

Thomas Müller, CEO of HENSOLDT, said: «The situation in Ukraine requires quick and decisive action. Due to a serial production line and the commitment of our employees, we are able to deliver such systems to protect the population in the shortest possible time».

TRML-4D uses the latest Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar technology with multiple digitally shaped beams. It is capable of detecting, tracking and classifying various types of aerial targets, with a focus on small, fast and low-flying and/or manoeuvring cruise missiles and aircraft, as well as hovering helicopters. It ensures the rapid detection and tracking of some 1,500 targets in a radius of up to 250 km/155 miles.

HENSOLDT has decades of experience with radar systems for air defence and actively drives the further development of key technologies in this field. In addition to the TRML-4D multifunction radar, the company’s portfolio also includes the Twinvis passive radar, the Spexer product family and radars for securing ship and air traffic. HENSOLDT supplies radars for the new frigates and corvettes of the German Navy, for airspace surveillance and for approach control at airfields of the German Armed Forces, among others.

As purely German systems, HENSOLDT’s solutions are not dependent on foreign technology and therefore offer the highest degree of approvability and certifiability for operation in Germany, as well as the highest possible security of supply. At the same time, they are fully compatible with NATO’s integrated air defence architecture.

«IRIS» from Germany

In October, Germany delivered the first IRIS-T SLM medium-range anti-aircraft system to Ukraine. There is a lot of talk about this complex among specialists – we will try to understand why this system raises so many questions, what is good about IRIS-T SLM, and why Ukraine needs this system today.

IRIS-T SLM-Launcher
IRIS-T SLM-Launcher

But let’s change the order of presentation this time and immediately start with the last question: why does Ukraine need the IRIS-T SLM complex? If you are monitoring the situation developing with the air defense systems of Ukraine, you should be aware that today it is already possible to state a good equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with portable short-range anti-aircraft missile systems (up to 5-7 km/3-4 miles) – these are the famous American FIM-92 Stinger and British Starstreak HVM on Alvis Stormer armored personnel carriers. What As for long-range air defense systems, this niche, albeit with a sin in half, is still closed by the old Soviet S-300 systems. Of course, they lag behind the American MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft systems in terms of their capabilities, but to some extent they cope with the tasks set. The worst situation is with medium-range air defense systems, which are obliged to close the gap between the long-range S-300 and the «last line of defense».

That is why western countries that have analyzed this situation are now starting to supply Ukraine with medium-range anti-aircraft systems – Norwegian NASAMS complexes and German IRIS-T SLM systems. And then we will make the following remark: NASAMS and IRIS-T SLM complexes have one thing in common. The fact is that the Norwegian NASAMS, and the German IRIS-T SLM were created on the basis of air-to-air missiles, which were upgraded to launch from the ground. Only in the case of the NASAMS complex, we are talking about an improved medium-range AIM-120 AMRAAM medium-range missile of American production, while in the German system the IRIS-T air-to-air missile was taken as a basis, which is designed for both close combat and interception of targets at medium range (up to 40 km/25 miles).

So, it makes sense to start the «debriefing» with a story about the key element of the German complex – the IRIS-T rocket. To begin with, we will explain its name. Despite the obvious associations with the English word Iris («Iris»), the name of the complex has nothing to do with «Iris». IRIS-T is an abbreviation that stands for InfraRed Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled. That is, we are dealing with a missile equipped with an infrared homing head, as well as with a controlled thrust vector, like the American fighter with vertical take-off and landing F-35B.

IRIS-T rocket
IRIS-T rocket

Initially, IRIS-T was created to replace the American AIM-9 Sidewinder close-combat missile, which has been in service with many NATO countries since 1956. The Germans approached this issue with their inherent thoroughness, so the new missile received backward compatibility: any aircraft capable of launching AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles can also launch IRIS-T missiles. however, in essence, the German development is quite an original design, even taking into account the fact that at the development stage of IRIS-T the German company Diehl used a navigation system from the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile.

In the 1980s, NATO countries signed an agreement that the United States would develop a medium-range air-to-air missile to replace the AIM-7 Sparrow, and Britain and Germany would develop their own short-range air-to-air missile to replace the AIM-9 Sidewinder. The American development was called the AIM-120 AMRAAM, and the British-German one was called AIM-132 ASRAAM. These abbreviations, as it is not difficult to notice, they differ from each other only in one letter: AMRAAM – the second letter «M» stands for Medium, indicating the average range; ASRAAM – the second «S» stands for Short, indicating close combat.

The roots of the ASRAAM project date back to 1968, when the development of the Hawker Siddeley SRAAM («Taildog») rocket began. In 1974, all work on the Hawker Siddeley SRAAM rocket was curtailed. The closed project was recalled in the 80s, when the UK and Germany began to develop the ASRAAM missile – the UK provided most of the remaining components from the Hawker Siddeley SRAAM, and the Germans created a new homing head. Since then, the need for high maneuverability of the missile has been reduced in favor of a longer flight range.

After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the Germans discovered a large stockpile of Soviet Vympel R-73 (AA-11 Archer according to NATO classification) missiles intended for MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters. German experts came to the conclusion that the key capabilities of the R-73 were noticeably underestimated. In particular, it was found that these Soviet missiles have good maneuverability and are much more functional in terms of capturing and tracking homing heads. than the latest versions of the same AIM-9 Sidewinder. Therefore, in 1990, Germany withdrew from the general ASRAAM project, while the UK decided to continue the development of ASRAAM in accordance with the original requirements.

At the end of 1990, the United States came to similar conclusions and began to modernize the existing design of the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile to provide increased maneuverability and improved characteristics of the IRCCM (InfraRed Counter CounterMeasures). During this program, the Americans created a new aim-9X Sidewinder short-range missile, which, by the way, can be launched from an upgraded version of the upgraded version. M1152A1 launchers of the Norwegian NASAMS complex.

NASAMS complex
NASAMS complex

But back to the German IRIS-T-missile. Compared to the AIM-9M Sidewinder, the IRIS-T has a higher resistance to electronic suppression measures and to glare suppression. Improvements in target discrimination have increased the firing range from 5 to 8 times, compared to outdated versions of the AIM-9M Sidewinder missile. The IRIS-T missile is also capable of hitting targets coming behind the aircraft, which was made possible by extreme maneuverability at close range. the distance provided by the controlled thrust vector, as well as due to the ability of the missile to capture the target after launch.

IRIS-T is capable of intercepting fast-moving and miniature targets, such as air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, as well as air-to-surface and surface-to-surface missiles, drones and cruise missiles. To increase the probability of a direct hit, the IRIS-T missile is equipped with an active radar proximity sensor.

The ground-based version of the IRIS-T missile used in the IRIS-T SL anti-aircraft system has more advanced capabilities that allow it to destroy aircraft and helicopters, cruise missiles, air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, anti-radar missiles and large-caliber tactical missiles. IRIS-T is also extremely effective in dealing with drones and other small, highly maneuverable targets at extremely short and medium distances.

IRIS-T missile
IRIS-T missile

The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) has tested a new air-to-surface missile developed by Diehl BGT Defense. In September 2016, test firings were conducted in Norway to test the concept of capturing, tracking and hitting a sea target, which is a small high-speed strike boat. The IRIS-T missile was launched from the Norwegian Air Force’s F-16AM multirole aircraft. As for the air-to-surface class, the IRIS-T missile retained its standard hardware configuration, including its high-explosive fragmentation warhead and infrared guidance package with updated software needed for additional surface attack capabilities. Basic air-to-ground functionality provides the ability to detect, track, and engage individual targets, such as boats/ships, small buildings, and vehicles on the ground.

There was also a very exotic version of the IRIS-T missile, which received the designation IDAS – Interactive Defence and Attack System for Submarines. The IDAS is a naval version of the submarine launch missile that is being developed for the German next-generation submarine Type 212A. The IDAS missile is designed to deal with air threats, small or medium surface ships and nearby ground targets. The flight range of the IDAS is about 40 km/25 miles. At the same time, the missile is launched from the nose launchers, part of its movement is carried out under water, and after reaching the surface, IDAS flies through the air. The missile is equipped with an infrared homing head: the length of the missile is 2.9 m/9.5 feet, the diameter is 180 mm/7 inches, the mass is 120 kg/265 lbs.


So, the Germans managed to develop a smart, extremely maneuverable, universal missile capable of hitting targets at short and medium range. It is not surprising that the developers of anti-aircraft systems soon took this development in sight.

As part of the MEADS (Medium Extended Air Defense System) program, the German Air Force decided to integrate a radar-guided version of the IRIS-T missile into its new anti-aircraft system, designated IRIS-T SL. The last two letters of this abbreviation stand for very simply Surface-Launched [missile].

This version of the missile has a pointed nose that reduces drag, which makes it easy to distinguish it from the usual IRIS-T with a discarded nose fairing. The IRIS-T SL missile system uses a GPS-based inertial navigation system and a radar data transmission channel for IRIS-T command guidance at the initial stage, and the interference-resistant infrared homing head is activated at the final stage of the flight. Compared to the standard air-launched IRIS-T, the engine diameter of the IRIS-T SL anti-aircraft missile was increased from 127 to 152 mm/5 to 6 inches. Qualification tests of the IRIS-T SL complex were completed in January 2015 at the Denel Overberg test site in South Africa.

IRIS-T SL missile
IRIS-T SL missile

Based on the development of the IRIS-T SL, three variants of the anti-aircraft system were created: IRIS-T SLS, IRIS-T SLM and IRIS-T SLX.

Despite the abundance of letters, it is not so difficult to understand these abbreviations: here one letter is added to the letters SL (Surface-L aunched): S – Short-range; M – Medium range; X – long range.

Operational tests of the IRIS-T SLM medium-range complex were completed in January 2022. It is he who will be transferred to Ukraine – more precisely, we are now talking about the transfer of 4 anti-aircraft systems, the first of which will appear in October.

A variant of the IRIS-T SLX long-range complex with the latest dual-mode homing head has been in development since April 2022.

The Swedish army has already received a version of the IRIS-T SLS short-range complex to replace the outdated RBS 70 system. Four missiles are mounted on the Eldenhet 98 launcher, which is mounted on a special version of the Bv 410 tracked vehicle. The complex includes a Giraffe 1X radar from SAAB.

Similar to the NASAMS complex, the German IRIS-T SLM system can be integrated with various modern AESA (active phased array) radars, such as the Hensoldt TRML-4D, Thales Ground Master 200 MM/C, CEA CEAFAR and SAAB Giraffe 4A. At IDEX 2019, a version of the complex called Falcon Ground Based Air Defense with a Lockheed-Martin Skykeeper control and monitoring station was shown. Giraffe 4A radar and Diehl IRIS-T SLM launcher.

German IRIS-T SLM system
German IRIS-T SLM system

And for a snack, we left the key technical characteristics of the German anti-aircraft systems of the IRIS-T SL family.

Short-range system IRIS-T SLS: maximum target interception range – 10 km/6.2 miles; the maximum height of target interception is 6 km/3.7 miles.

Medium-range complex IRIS-T SLM: maximum target interception range – 40 km/25 miles; the maximum height of target interception is 20 km/12.4 miles.

IRIS-T SLX long-range system: maximum target interception range – 80 km/48 miles; the maximum height of target interception is 30 km/18.6 miles.

As for radars, then, as we noted above, the IRIS-T SL complex allows integration with radars of various types. Thus, the IRIS-T SLS short-range system, made for Sweden, was equipped with the Giraffe 1X radar from SAAB, which detects targets at a range of 25 km/15.5 miles and at an altitude of up to 10 km/6.2 miles, which is quite acceptable for a close combat system.

Naturally, for the medium-range IRIS-T SLM complex, which Ukraine will receive, a more powerful radar is needed. Perhaps the Ukrainian version will come with an active multifunctional radar Hensoldt TRML-4D.

Hensoldt TRML-4D
Hensoldt TRML-4D

It is worth noting the presence of passive radar sensors that can provide operators of the IRIS-T complex with additional capabilities for covert early detection of air objects, as well as relaying the picture of the air situation to operational personnel without launching the radiation of the main radar, which dramatically increases the survivability of the entire system. According to the developers, this additional passive detection system can provide omnidirectional 3D tracking of more than 180 objects at a distance of up to 250 km/155 miles.

As you can see, Ukraine will have at its disposal the latest German development – weapons of the XXI century, which are not yet in service with Germany itself. Let’s take the liberty to assume that if the Ukrainians manage (and we have no doubt about this) to successfully master the IRIS-T SLM medium-range anti-aircraft system, this will be an important step for the development of other complexes of the IRIS-T SL family in the future. when the Germans need to test the latest IRIS-T SLX long-range system, the choice will also be made in favor of Ukraine.

And the last note at the end: the ability to work with the IRIS-T family of missiles can be useful in the future, when the Ukrainian Air Force begins to switch to air-to-air missiles of the NATO bloc countries.



PGZ and its subsidiaries, PIT-RADWAR, JELCZ and WZU, working hand-in-hand with MBDA have been making rapid progress on the SHOrt-Range Air Defence (SHORAD) solution, known as «Mała NAREW», with the first two Polish iLaunchers of the system already in Poland undergoing integration and trials ahead of delivery to the customer.

PGZ and MBDA making rapid progress on «Mała NAREW»

This project aims to deliver rapidly two SHORAD-class fire units equipped with Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) missiles, integrated with SOŁA radar stations and the Polish Command and Control (C2) system.

The «Mała NAREW» units are being adapted to work within one SHORAD class solution. Functional integration of the radar stations, C2 systems and CAMM missile fire control software is going hand-in-hand with the physical integration of subsequent iLauncher with JELCZ trucks chassis. The first training sessions for operators of iLauncher and Polish components of the «Mała NAREW» system has already been conducted.

Sebastian Chwałek, CEO of PGZ S.A. said: «By implementing this program, we strengthen our credibility as a strategic partner for the army, ready to provide advanced air defence systems at record pace. We treat «Mała NAREW» as a test ground before the NAREW program, showing what our capabilities are and how to cooperate with major foreign partner MBDA UK on a joint project. We believe that this relationship will translate into further successes, both for our companies and the armies that will trust us to bring their air defence into XXI century».

Chris Allam, Managing Director of MBDA UK, said: «We’re proud that the co-operation between MBDA and PGZ achieved the arrival of the first air defence hardware into Poland in an incredibly short timeframe. The successes of the «Mała Narew» project are a very positive indicator for the success of PGZ-MBDA co-operation on the wider NAREW project that will include extensive transfer of technology and knowledge to Poland on missiles and launchers».

The «Mała NAREW» program, in addition to the fire units themselves, also includes a training and logistics package. Under the project, PGZ and MBDA are conducting integration of selected British and Polish elements of air defence systems as well as provide technical support for the ordered equipment at the operational stage. The contract provides for the delivery of the first «Mała NAREW» fire unit this year, and the second in 2023.

Short-Range Air Defence

Saab has conducted the first Mobile Short-Range Air Defence (MSHORAD) live system firing for an audience of various national delegations. In a series of firings, the system identified, tracked and engaged several targets.

Mobile Short-Range Air Defence (MSHORAD)
Saab’s MSHORAD System Successfully Demonstrated with Live Firing

The firings took place during August 30 in Karlskoga, Sweden. Potential customers from 15 nations attended the live firing. A total of five successful firings were performed from the RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit on the MARS-S330 vehicle against a variety of targets, including a drone and an elevated helicopter airframe. During one firing scenario the vehicle mounted sight was taken off and reconfigured as a man portable firing unit. A night firing was also conducted against a towed target.

«These successful firings proves that we have a fully operable mobile air defence solution. These firings highlights the value of a single supplier being able to deliver everything from radar to the firing unit, including a Ground Based Air Defence Command and Control (GBAD C2) solution. The combination of our Giraffe 1X radar and the RBS 70 NG Mobile Firing Unit is the perfect match for a solution with first-class range, altitude coverage and detection», says Stefan Öberg, head of Saab’s business unit Missile Systems.

MSHORAD is Saab’s response to the new battlefield era, with evolved airborne threats such as the advent of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles and other advanced airborne weapons. MSHORAD is a vehicle-integrated solution that can identify, counter and neutralise air threats quickly, effectively and decisively. The system consists of the Mobile Radar Unit, based on the Giraffe 1X radar, the Mobile Firing Unit, based on the RBS 70 NG, all connected with Saab’s GBAD C2.


Northrop Grumman Corporation’s AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) multifunction sensor successfully detected and tracked multiple cruise missile threats simultaneously during a recent live-fire test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. G/ATOR successfully tracked each target immediately after launch and passed relevant information in real time to intercept numerous cruise missile targets from multiple angles.

G/ATOR supporting a series of live-fire tests in White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico

The tests were part of the U.S. Marine Corps’ mid-tier acquisition rapid prototyping effort, known as the Ground Based Air Defense Medium-Range Intercept Capability (GBAD MRIC), a developmental program established to protect high-value areas and assets from airborne threats such as cruise missiles and aircraft.

«During this test event, the AN/TPS-80 demonstrated a combination of performance capabilities during a realistic representation of an adversary attack», said Michael Hahn, director, advanced land radar solutions, Northrop Grumman. «G/ATOR is an expeditionary radar and is unrivaled in its ability to simultaneously provide weapons quality tracks on numerous, concurrent airborne targets while maintaining 360-degree surveillance coverage. The software-defined nature of the AN/TPS-80 was critical in rapidly developing and demonstrating this advanced capability in support of challenging threat scenarios to support the Marine Corps».

The rapid emplacement and displacement of the AN/TPS-80 means troops can quickly stand up this mission capability in the field, perform the mission, and rapidly move assets to avoid vulnerability of enemy targeting. Unlike traditional sensors, multifunction systems like G/ATOR consolidate multiple capabilities into a single sensor, decreasing the size, weight and power requirements. G/ATOR is one piece of the solution providing the joint forces with an operational picture and deep breadth of data to operate in today’s contested environment, in support of the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 strategy.

The GBAD MRIC program, led by the USMC, integrates existing systems – specifically, G/ATOR and the Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S) – with components of the Israeli Iron Dome System including the Tamir interceptor to provide integrated surveillance and coverage.

SPY-6 radar

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, has delivered SPY-6 radar arrays to the future U.S.S. John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), the first aircraft carrier to receive the advanced radar.

When three SPY-6(V)3 radar arrays (left) are combined, they provide 360 degree coverage for aircraft carriers, like the future-U.S.S. John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)

This delivery is the first of three for the aircraft carrier. Together, the three fixed-face radar arrays will form a SPY-6(V)3, also known as the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar, which provides 360-degree coverage for the ship. In addition to the proven multi-mission capabilities across the SPY-6 family, SPY-6(V)3 has unique features that meet the needs of an aircraft carrier, including weather mapping and air traffic control functionality.

«This is the first aircraft carrier that will be equipped with SPY-6 radars, the leading naval radar system in the world», said Kim Ernzen, president of Naval Power at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «With the recent contract, SPY-6 will provide premier detection and coverage for more than 40 ships in the U.S. Navy throughout the next decade».

The SPY-6 family of radars provides integrated air and missile defense for seven classes of ships. Its radar modular assemblies, known as RMAs, allow SPY-6 to be scalable and modular to support production for the U.S. and partner nations across all variants.

Digital multi-mode radar

Northrop Grumman’s long-range radar, an advanced digital radar available in the market today, has been officially recognized by the U.S. government as the AN/TPY-5(V)1 making it the newest multi-mission air-surveillance radar available to the U.S. military and its international partners.

AN/TPY-5(V)1 is a digital multi-mode ground radar deployed and in operation, today

«The AN/TPY-5(V)1 provides enhanced surveillance and a robust multifunction capability», said Mike Meaney, vice president, land and maritime sensors, Northrop Grumman. «This S-band system features advanced electronic protection combined with a high degree of mobility that will help ensure survivability in today’s complex battlespace».


Strategic Mobility Provides Key Advantage in Today’s Complex Battlespace

The United States continuously seeks to acquire a strategic cross-domain military arsenal to ensure that trusted, versatile solutions are always readily available to protect warfighters – domestically and internationally – during any mission.

A military force that can move more quickly across both familiar and hostile terrain will prevail over adversaries. As the military operating environment becomes more lethal, strategic mobility can help transform modern warfare.

AN/TPY-5(V)1’s size and form factor have been optimized for expeditionary operation on a modern, global battlefield, making its intrinsic capability to self-deploy, emplace and displace in minutes – a key discriminator compared to other systems.

Similarly, advanced digital Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) architecture and Command and Control (C2) integration have come together in the AN/TPY-5(V)1 S-band radar to enable protection and situational understanding for warfighters.


Delivering Performance Today, Designed for Growth Tomorrow

Facing the challenges of fifth-generation fighters, hypersonic weapons, unmanned systems and ballistic missiles, the AN/TPY-5(V)1’s proven performance has been demonstrated in multiple test events, with each one further establishing and verifying the system’s advanced technical capability.

Designed for growth, it can provide the performance expected in today’s highly contested and congested battlespace, while its advanced software-defined architecture allows for rapid updates to counter new and emerging threats. Updates can be completed via software in hours or even minutes with this system, compared to weeks or months required for traditional ground-based radars.

Missile Defense Radar

On May 26, 2022, the Search Track Acquire Radiate Eliminate (STARE) Project Office, U.S. Army Sentinel Product Office received the first five radars of its initial contract with Lockheed Martin. The Sentinel A4 radar is developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin in Syracuse, New York, and has been on an accelerated schedule since the project was awarded in September 2019.

Sentinel A4
Lockheed Martin Delivers First Five Sentinel A4 Air & Missile Defense Radars To U.S. Army, Providing Improved Capability As Part Of The Army’s Modernization Efforts

«We are one step closer to getting this enhanced capability to our warfighters», stated Leah Cook, Sentinel Product Director for the U.S. Army Sentinel A4 program office. «The delivery of the first five radars is a result of collaboration and a continued commitment to the U.S. Army».

The U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin have a strong partnership founded on collaboration and trust. The process has included virtual reviews and working groups to maintain momentum through all program development phases.

«Our team understands the criticality of this technology and the need to get it fielded», said Mark Mekker, director of Army Radars for Lockheed Martin. «Our soldiers are in unpredictable environments, and the Sentinel A4 will provide improved eyes on the field to keep them safe».


What’s Next?

Lockheed Martin will support the Army in the government test program phase into early 2023. The radars will undergo mobility, environmental, radar performance and logistics testing. Production of the next five radar systems is already underway, and delivery is expected to begin in March 2023.


Future Forward to Protect Against Evolving Threats

The Sentinel A4’s open scalable radar architecture is the cornerstone of the radar system’s design and allows for addressing evolving threats with software modifications only.

The new air and missile defense radar will provide improved capability over the previous iteration, the Sentinel A3. It will outperform the legacy radar, delivering improvements in contested environments against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial systems, rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft, and rocket, artillery, and mortar threats. This includes enhanced surveillance, detection, and classification capabilities to protect U.S. Army maneuver formations.


Efficiencies & Cost Savings

Lockheed Martin radars are designed with a high degree of commonality. The company’s TPY-4 ground based air surveillance radar was built and validated under Lockheed Martin investment and significantly leveraged the Sentinel A4 radar design.

«Commonality across the radar portfolio enable sustainment efficiencies and significant cost savings for our customers. Our scalable technology, coupled with these efficiencies, has resulted in significant international interest in both the Sentinel A4 and TPY-4 radars to replace older assets that simply cannot be upgraded to match what our next generation systems are offering», said Chandra Marshall, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin’s Radar and Sensor Systems business.

Lockheed Martin continues to invest significantly in the advancement of its software-defined radar technology, including its automated manufacturing processes which improves quality and will lead to even further cost reductions.


Military Utility Vehicle

One of HENSOLDT’s core competences is recognizing threats and protecting end users. At EUROSATORY 2022 in Paris, HENSOLDT presents its broad range of sensor solutions for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations as well as sensors to improve the safety and operational effectiveness.

Military Utility Vehicle (MUV)
In Paris, HENSOLDT and IVECO Defence Vehicle are jointly presenting the Military Utility Vehicle (MUV) concept demonstrator (Photo: HENSOLDT AG)

In Paris, HENSOLDT and IVECO Defence Vehicle are jointly presenting the Military Utility Vehicle (MUV) concept demonstrator. For the first time, the MUV will present a modular sensor fusion platform that can be used in the civilian and military sectors for reconnaissance as well as for self-protection and convoy protection. The basis of the MUV concept demonstrator is an all-terrain chassis from IVECO DV with a maximum payload of four tonnes. A sensor suite from HENSOLDT is installed on it, with the See Through Armour System (SETAS), Multifunctional Self-Protection for Vehicles (MUSS), Radio Direction Finder and S3 MIMO systems. All systems are connected by a Central Processing Unit (CIPU), which forms the backbone of the sensor suite.

With TRML-4D, the latest member of its C-Band (NATO G-Band) ground-based air defence radar family, HENSOLDT is showing a state-of-the-art system regarding naval and ground tactical radars. TRML-4D uses the latest Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar technology, with multiple digitally formed beams. It is designed for near- to long-range ground-to-air detection and for weapon assignment. It is capable of detecting, tracking, and classifying various types of air targets, with an emphasis on small, fast, and low-flying and/or manoeuvring cruise missiles and aircraft as well as hovering helicopters. It ensures rapid response detection and tracking of approximately 1,500 targets in a radius of up to 250 km/155.3 miles and at an altitude of up to 30 km/18.6 miles.

HENSOLDT is showcasing a very precise picture of the airspace, created by its passive radar system Twinvis. The system does not emit actively any signal but uses several transmission sources from various locations. It can also interconnect several sensors into one sensor cluster. The transmitters and the Twinvis sensors can be separated from each other at a distance of up to 100 kilometres/62.1 miles. Unlike systems based on passive emitter tracking, requiring aircraft to emit, Twinvis does not depend on any such transmission and does not emit itself, thus being a truly passive system.

Alongside the ground-based radars, HENSOLDT is showing its counter-UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) system Xpeller for 24/7 protection from illicit intrusions of UAVs over critical areas – even at long ranges – offering a low false alarm rate and high probability of interception. The system is highly modular and combines numerous sensors (radar, electro-optics, direction finders) and target neutralization effectors such as jammers and drone catchers through a single Command and Control (C2) system.

At EUROSATORY, HENSOLDT will demonstrate ARGOSIA, which is a range of embedded Maritime Surveillance (SURMAR) and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission systems designed to meet the requirements of air surveillance and intelligence missions. Together with battle-proofed sensors and equipment selected for their reliability and performances, ARGOSIA proposes many system configurations meeting the needs of defence, maritime and overland surveillance, law enforcement, Search & Rescue as well as imagery intelligence (IMINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) missions. This modular and multi-console system consists of the Mission Management System software ARGOSIA, which integrates an advanced digital cartography engine, a sensor-fusion algorithm and powerful decision-support tools that help optimize operator workload.

GhostEye Medium‐Range

Right now, that’s especially true of the medium‐range mission space, which has seen a proliferation of adversarial cruise missiles, drones, fixed‐wing and rotary wing aircraft.

GhostEye MR
GhostEye MR: a new radar for medium‐range air defense

«Today’s battlefield moves at a very rapid pace, and it’s riddled with a large portfolio of threats», said Joe DeAntona, a retired U.S. Army colonel who is now vice president for Land Warfare and Air Defense requirements and capabilities at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. «Informed decisions must be made in seconds – not minutes or hours».

Modern missile defense is about more than speed, said DeAntona, who was an air and missile defender for more than 30 years. He added that militaries also require radars that see in 360 degrees and can search, track, discriminate and cue interceptors against multiple types of threats.


Integrates with a proven system

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, or RMD, is offering GhostEye MR radar for integration with the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System, or NASAMS.

This medium‐range air defense solution, made in partnership with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, has been operational for more than three decades and is currently used by the U.S. and 11 allied nations. The widespread adoption of NASAMS «indicates the highest level of confidence by a global customer base», DeAntona said.

GhostEye MR «integrates with NASAMS and absolutely takes that system to the next level», said Lindsay Viana, director of ground‐based air defense on RMD’s Requirements and Capabilities team.

«This radar expands the range and altitude that the proven NASAMS defends, dramatically increasing overall effectiveness of the air defense capability». Viana said.

As a component of NASAMS, the sensor maximizes the range of that system’s effectors – including RMD’s Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Extended Range variant, or AMRAAM‐ER – improving accuracy and performance.

In particular, GhostEye MR’s combination of two key technologies – Active Electronically Scanned Array, or AESA, and military‐grade Gallium Nitride, or GaN – give the sensor a distinct advantage.

«With the addition of GhostEye MR, we extend battlespace coverage to the full kinematic envelope, or reachable area, of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile Extended Range (AMRAAM‐ER) effector», Viana said.


Leveraging LTAMDS commonality

As the latest product in RMD’s GhostEye family of radars, the medium‐range sensor leverages commonality with the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS, technology that the company is making for the U.S. Army.

«The architecture of our GhostEye family of radars is scalable and modular, enabling a wide range of missions», DeAntona said, adding that «these advancements are now being applied to the GhostEye MR mission set. It’s all logistically streamlined, cost‐effective and easy to integrate».

Raytheon Missiles & Defense adds and extends capabilities through secure software upgrades via «software‐defined aperture» digital technology – similar to that used in updating smartphones, though far more sophisticated. And, there’s no need to take the radar out of the field for these upgrades.


Adaptability and interoperability

As sophisticated threats evolve, so too does NASAMS with GhostEye MR. The system’s open architecture allows technology adaptations and updates that empower it to counter adversaries in the ever‐expanding medium range.

Another advantage is its interoperability – the capability to communicate with other systems – for strengthening strategic agility and flexibility.

«That is crucial, and NASAMS has it», said DeAntona. «NASAMS meets all NATO requirements for interoperability. It can communicate with other weapons systems on the NATO network – doing so in real time».

Meanwhile, GhostEye MR is on an accelerated path toward integration in NASAMS. For instance, it is already approved to be part of that system’s fire direction‐and‐control loop. Raytheon Missiles & Defense employed a comprehensive digital design environment spanning the radar’s physical and functional characteristics as well as modeling and simulation to assess its effective performance in a variety of mission scenarios.

The sensor is currently undergoing open‐air testing and multi‐mission demonstrations. The data collected through these events is being used to enhance the fidelity of the digital design models.

«When GhostEye MR searches for something», DeAntona said, «it does so with such fidelity, such accuracy, that it can provide the effector the real time information it needs to take action».

The latest addition to the GhostEye MR family of radars made by Raytheon Missiles & Defense will counter escalating medium-range threats and fortify layered air and missile defense