Reutech Radar Systems (RRS) has installed the first of five RSR 210N multi-purpose 2D general surveillance radars aboard the Royal Norwegian Navy Aegis frigate KNM Otto Sverdrup. Norway ordered the radar in December 2007 at a cost of R150 million to supplement the frigate`s SPY1F radar and to support helicopter operations.
The installation, completed at Haakonsvern Naval Base near Bergen in Norway, follows the completion of factory acceptance tests at RRS’ test facilities in South Africa, during which extensive trials against air and surface targets were successfully completed.
The US Aegis area area air defence system provides ships with the ability to defend themselves and other nearby vessels from aircraft and missile attack. The system can protect cities against ballistic missiles through its software`s ability to track missiles and plot a physical impact point.
RRS says the RSR 210N is particularly suited to the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigate due to its system architecture, which allows classification of targets as fixed wing, helicopter or surface targets. This feature significantly aids the primary purpose of helicopter control operations in a multi-target environment. “We are really pleased with the results obtained during the trials”, says programme manager Peter Kirkpatrick. “The system has achieved performance beyond expectation and we are confident of smooth passage to completion of sea trials aboard the vessel”.
Production and testing of the remaining four systems for the other four frigates in the class is in progress, with the delivery of subsequent systems “on schedule”.
The Stellenbosch-based company says the RSR 210N is a highly accurate multi-purpose 2D radar capable of general surveillance, ship self- defence, gun fire support and helicopter support roles. The system’s light-weight two-axis stabilised antenna is specifically designed to perform efficiently under the harsh environmental conditions encountered in Arctic theatres of operation. “Furthermore, the pulse Doppler signal processing facilitates the detection of small, fast moving targets under complex weather, sea and land clutter conditions, thereby enhancing performance in a ship self-defence role. As demanded by true naval radar operation, a robust electronic counter-countermeasures suite ensures capabilities retention even under a hostile electromagnetic environment.”
RRS won the four-year contract from the Norwegian Defence Procurement Division (NDPD) in the face of stiff competition. RRS introduced the RSR 210N to the market in October 2005. “Highly successful demonstrations” followed in February 2007, with the system being shown to the SA Navy and others. “These trials demonstrated RSR 210N`s superior performance in the detection of both air and surface targets under adverse environmental conditions,” RRS export systems business development manager Anthony Green said in early 2008. “Selection of the RSR 210N radar, by a leading NATO Navy, represents a significant achievement for South African and Norwegian industries,” RRS and its Norwegian partner, Electronicon, added in a joint statement to mark the Norwegian order. “We expect that this win will secure the product`s position in the world market.”
“There has already been considerable interest in the product from other international, as well as South African, users and we expect follow-on orders as a result of the success in Norway,” Green added. Norway is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) member and NATO navies are discriminating about what they use. It is not an easy market to break into, he adds. “And it certainly raises your profile.”
The deal also requires RRS to provide logistics and spares and training, as well as documentation – to maintain and properly use the system.
Pic: The RSR 210N at AAD2010 last week.