Reutech supplying weapons and radars for Biro, Hotel


Reutech is supplying Super Sea Rogue turrets, machinegun turrets and radars for the four vessels being acquired by the South African Navy under Projects Biro and Hotel.

Reutech is supplying three 20 mm Super Sea Rogue turrets for the three new multi-mission inshore patrol vessels (MMIPVs) being built by Damen Shipyards Cape Town under Project Biro, and four 12.7 mm turrets for the hydrographic survey vessel being acquired from Southern African Shipyards under Project Hotel. The machinegun turrets will be the same as those already fitted to the SA Navy’s four Valour class frigates. The turrets are being built by Reutech Solutions in a batch.

Reutech Radar Systems is building radars for the vessels – each MMIPV is getting an RTS 3200 Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) Optronics Radar Tracker (FORT). This was developed in response to requests for a niche light-weight electro-optic radar tracker as a cost-effective alternative to conventional electro-optic trackers that struggle under adverse weather conditions.

The FORT radar can be integrated with various optronics sensors including thermal imagers, infra-red sensors, laser range finders and vessel self-protection countermeasures such as laser dazzlers. It has been tested aboard the SA Navy’s Valour-class frigate SAS Spioenkop.

Reutech Communications is providing telecommunications equipment to Biro and Hotel and this includes V/UHF radios incorporating the Link-ZA datalink system.

The FORT system on the SA Navy’s MMIPVs is a good advertisement as that is how Reutech’s RSR 210N radar ended up on the Royal Norwegian Navy’s Fridtjof Nansen class frigates – the South African Navy told them the radar installed on its Valour class frigates was very good, and the Norwegians subsequently bought the system.

There is interest in FORT from clients in Southeast Asia, especially for vessel refurbishment. One system has already been sold.

The first MMIPV, SAS Sekukhune (P1571) will be handed over to the SA Navy on 18 May in Simon’s Town. Damen Shipyards Cape Town was contracted in January 2018 to deliver three Biro vessels, with the second (P1572) to be handed over in June 2023 and P1573 in September 2024. Deliveries were originally scheduled to start from mid-2021 – the first keel was laid in February 2019. The hull of P1572 (SAS Adam Kok) is 75% complete.