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AAD 2016: Radar on the cards for BIRO

Written by Shephard Media 16 September 2016.

RTS 3200

16 September 2016

AAD 2016: Radar on the cards for BIRO

Article as published in Shephard Media. Source: https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/digital-battlespace/aad-2016-radar-cards-biro/

Delays to the South African Navy's BIRO offshore patrol vessel (OPV) and inshore patrol vessel (IPV) progamme mean that radar offerings for the ships will have to wait.

Internal processes at state procurement organisation Armscorp mean that bids for BIRO that were valid until mid-2016 are on hold.

Reutech’s RSR 210N which has been built especially for the Royal Norwegian Navy’s Fridjtof Nansen-class frigates to be compatible with the SPY-1 system from Lockheed Martin, and have been in-service since October 2013, are being considered for the three OPVs.

RSR 210N is an X-band naval/air surveillance 2-D multi-mode radar that is used for close range detection, helicopter management, and has a low probability of intercept and is lightweight for smaller vessels. It can detect fighter aircraft out to 45km and do gunfire control out to 25km.

The company's RTS 3200 frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) optronics radar tracking (FORT) X-band system is being considered for both the OPVs and IPVs.

Anthony Green, product strategy executive at Reutech said that the system was built as a technology demonstrator and fitted to the South African Navy frigate Spioenkop (F147) for UN operations off the coast of Africa to provide surveillance to the rear of the ship.

He said it was designed to be cheaper than the frigate’s RTS 6400 radar that is fitted to SAN vessels and other expensive systems like Ceros but is more effective than a standard EO/IR system because it includes a radar. It has one transmit and one receive array with an EO/IR pack in the middle.

All the RTS 3200 systems, except for the processing is fitted within the housing making it easy to fit to a ship as it does not require much hull penetration, just the hole for the fibre-optic cable.

The radar can conduct longer range detection and tracking to get the range and angles data, whilst the EO/IR system has options to include a thermal imager, dual field day TV camera and a laser range finder that can provide video footage when targets are closer and the weather is clear.

It can detect aircraft out to 27km, surface missiles out to 13km and a 35mm cannon round out to 7km but has an instrumented range out to 40km.