Saab’s Sea Giraffe 1X is adding capability and longevity to Frigate’s surveillance capabilities


At a time when the nature of naval threats are evolving and becoming more complex, navies around the world are looking for innovative, cost effective solutions to enhance capabilities and meet the demands of the ever-changing maritime environment.

The Sea Giraffe 1X is Saab’s most compact and affordable high performance radar with simultaneous surface and air surveillance coverage. The high update rate combined with full volume coverage and state of the art 3D Multi Hypothesis Tracker (MHT) secure success of every mission and task given to your vessel and its crew. The low weight and small size allow for flexible installation, resulting in extended range, without affecting ship structure or stability. Modern technology, GaN, modular components and User Centred Design reduce life cycle cost, including everything from integration to operator training and maintenance. The Sea Giraffe 1X makes maritime platforms more capable and better prepared to execute missions in the world’s littorals.

The Sea Giraffe 1X has an extremely compact footprint and with an antenna weight of a mere 100kg the Sea Giraffe 1X can provide a comprehensive 3D surveillance picture. With a strong heritage of Saab’s radar technology demonstrated throughout the Giraffe family of radars as a foundation, the Sea Giraffe 1X radar uses clever digital signal processing to provide the following capabilities:

  • Extremely Low Small and Slow (ELSS) detection and classification for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and drones
  • High Resolution Surface Surveillance (HRSS) for splash spotting
  • Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) detection capability for a sense and warn capability for force protection
  • Short inner detection range to support helicopter Ship Controlled Approach (SCA) and navigation requirements
  • Surface-to-Air missile target designation and weapon control
  • Extensive Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM)

The German Navy recently included Saab’s Sea Giraffe 1X naval 3D Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA) Surveillance radar as part of the project scope to upgrade the sensor systems onboard their Brandenburg-Class (F123) frigates. “We are proud that Germany has selected Saab as the combat system provider and integrator for the Type 123 frigate upgrade project and pleased to see the Sea Giraffe 1X radar as part of their sensor solution,” says Graham Walker, Marketing Executive, Naval and Maritime Systems at Saab’s Country Office South Africa.

“The German Navy F123 frigates and the South African Navy’s Meko A200 frigates come from a similar era (although the F123’s are a bit older than the Meko A200) and have comparable systems and capabilities; both are in the process of system upgrades and midlife refurbishment to enhance capabilities and prolong their operational life at sea.  These two classes of frigates being quite similar, coupled with the close ties between the South African Navy and German Navy through the acquisition of the Meko A200’s from Germany, it would be great to see these two navies sharing the same surveillance radar capabilities in the Sea Giraffe 1X.”

“The Sea Giraffe 1X system adds a new dimension to the sensor segment of any frigate upgrade project, as it is cost effective solution with a low life-cycle costs,” explains Walker. “It’s easy to use, simple to maintain, and offers exceptional value for money when budgets are tight or under pressure.” He furthermore stresses that “The Sea Giraffe 1X will be a great value proposition for the South African Navy Valour Class frigates in that it provides a 3D surveillance capability within relatively short lead times at a very competitive and affordable cost compared to larger S-band or C-band radars.”

The Sea Giraffe 1X is optimised for naval and maritime security operations – without compromising the needs for 3D detection and tracking of small, fast-moving, sophisticated naval threats. It is the ideal choice for platforms with limited space that still have high demands on performance and we could well see the Sea Giraffe 1X extended beyond the domain of the Valour Class frigates and appear on the mast of Inshore and Offshore Patrol Vessels in future.