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AAD 2016: Dual band radar goes on

Written by Shephard Media 16 September 2016.

ESR 320

16 September 2016

AAD 2016: Dual band radar goes on

Article as published in Shephard Media. Source: https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/landwarfareintl/aad-2016-dual-band-radar-goes/

Reutech is to continue working on the RSR320 Dual Band Radar (DBR) XL system despite development being temporarily suspended.

A partnership between Denel and Saab for the provision of the latter’s Giraffe AMB radar to be the guidance system for the Umkhonto air defence missile system appears to have scuppered Reutech’s plans to offer the DBR XL in this role.

However, Anthony Green, product strategy executive at Reutech, told Shephard that they are still working on the system because it can 'bring more' to the Umkhonto missile because of its level of accuracy.

He said that no other radar has the same level of accuracy and this makes it 'appropriate' for Umkhonto.

'It has greater accuracy with its target reports and this means there is a greater chance of the missile hitting the target,' he added.

DBR XL is a 3-D radar and operates in the X- and L-bands. It was developed by Reutech as a technology project. After being integrated with Umkhonto and successfully completing firing tests in October 2013 at the Overburg Test Range work had continued until this year.

It appears that Denel may have preferred a proven in-service radar system, so that it can sell its Umkhonto air defence system much sooner instead of waiting for the DBR XL to be completed.

South Africa’s Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) programme is in two phases. The first phase was the purchase of Reutech's ESR220 Thutlwa 2-D radar to match with the Starstreak shoulder-launched air defence missile for a Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) capability.

The South African Army has bought four Thutlwa systems that are fitted to four Al Jaber 8x8 trucks. A large amount of these trucks had been purchased in the 1990s as ammunition supply vehicles to support the G5 self-propelled howitzer, but the four were converted for the air defence role.

Phase 2 was to use the Umkhonto vertical launch missile system for longer range air defence. Green said that DBR XL was designed for this and was developed using elements of other Reutech radar.

DBR XL has an antenna height of 4-12m and weighs 12,000kg. It can track more than 100 targets per second with an uprate rate of one second. The L-band has a solid state transmitter than can reach a detection range of 80km and an X-band TWT that can reach out to 40km.

At the moment, the DBR XL is fitted to its own container with measuring systems although in the future it will be fitted to another converted Al Jaber truck.

Green said there was foreign interest in DBR from countries in a ‘similar time zone’. He added that with the exception of Norway, Reutech does not usually sell to First World countries that have their own radar industry, usually customers are those that want technology to develop their own industries or that want fielded equipment, mainly in the Middle East and South East Asia.

A spokesperson from Denel Dynamics told Shephard that they had given Reutech input on frequencies and waveforms for their missiles and there had been successful tests. However, he added that the company wanted to 'use something off-the-shelf'.