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Sep 23, 2011

South African naval radars pass final Norwegian qualification review

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Engineering|Stellenbosch|Components|Defence|Lockheed Martin|Reutech Radar Systems|System|Systems|Europe|Norway|Spain|Control Systems|Logistics|Mining|Search Radars|Service|Systems|Western Cape|Monique Lenhoff|Otto Sverdrup|Power|Thor Heyerdahl
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Local defence company Reutech Radar System’s RSR 210N air/sea surveillance radar has successfully passed its final qualification review (FQR) in Norway. The South African company is supplying RSR 210N radars to the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN).

Reutech Radar Systems is the main subcontractor to Norwegian enterprise Electronicon, which was contracted by the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation to supply helicopter control radars for the RNoN’s new Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates. The South African radars will also function as supplementary surveillance radars.

The FQR followed successful sea acceptance trials in Norwegian waters at the end of June. These, in turn, were pre- ceded by a number of engineering trials, often undertaken during poor weather and adverse sea state conditions. These trials included numerous accuracy measurements, close and far range air and sea target detection performance evaluation, and confirmation of the radar system’s ability to correctly classify targets as surface, air or helicopter. Sustained performance in the presence of electronic countermeasures was also demonstrated.

“The trials collectively proved the system’s ability to provide the ship with a high-performance supplementary air-sea surveillance capability as well as to provide high accuracy helicopter position reporting even under complex clutter conditions encountered in the Norwegian landward, littoral and open sea environments,” points out Monique Lenhoff, of Reutech Radar Systems.

The RSR 210N is one of the company’s two-dimensional search and surveillance radars and has a range which exceeds 50 km. The company also has two land-based radars in this category, namely the EDR 120 and the ESR 220. It also makes three-dimensional search radars, the ESR 360/ESR 380 range, as well as a tracking radar (the RTS 6400, which also includes an optronic tracker, in service with the South African Navy), compact surveillance radars, radar components, radars for the mining industry, and high- precision mechanical and control systems. Reutech Radar Systems is based in Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape, and is part of the Reunert group, which is listed on the JSE.

The RSR 210N operates in the X-band (super-high-frequency electromagnetic spectrum band, between 5.2 GHz and 10.9 GHz) and the radar has already been fitted to three of the five Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates – the name ship herself, KNM Otto Sverdrup and KNM Roald Amundsen (KNM is the Norwegian abbreviation for His Norwegian Majesty’s Ship). The remaining two radars will be delivered later this year and early next year. They will be fitted to KNM Helge Ingstad and KNM Thor Heyerdahl.

The main radar carried by the frigates is the Lockheed Martin SPY-1F multifunction phased array radar, which is the key sensor element of the same com- pany’s Aegis combat system, with which the new warships are also equipped.

The Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates are named after famous Norwegian explorers and are the newest, biggest and most powerful warships in the RNoN. Each displaces 5 290 t, has a length of 134 m, a beam of 16.8 m, a draught of 7.6 m and a top speed of 26 knots (kts). (In comparison, the South African Navy’s Valour-class frigates each displace 3 590 t, have a length of 121 m, a beam of 16 m, a draught of 5.95 m and a top speed of 28 kts.) The last of these ships, KNM Thor Heyerdahl, was handed over to the RNoN in January by its builder, Navantia, of Spain.

Norway is a member country of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato). There are 28 member countries in the alliance, of which four do not have coastlines. The RNoN can probably be ranked as the tenth-most-power- ful fleet in Nato, the seventh- most-powerful in continental Europe and the most powerful in Scandinavia.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
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