The UK Royal Navy’s and Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s (RFA) more than 60 ships, submarines and shore facilities will be fitted with SharpEye radars provided by Kelvin Hughes.
Working in association with Lockheed Martin who have signed a £44 million contract with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), Kelvin Hughes will be supplying SharpEye systems for the RN’s Type 23 frigates, Hunt and Sandown class Mine Counter Measure Vessels, RFA support vessels and fast patrol boats as well as the Astute, Trafalgar and Vanguard class submarines, the company said in a statement Monday.
Five shore facilities will also benefit from SharpEye technology, including HMS Collingwood in Hampshire, HMS Raleigh in Cornwall, and the Land Based Test Site at Portsdown Technology Park in Hampshire. The contract with Lockheed Martin also includes options for the introduction of navigation radar systems for future Royal Navy platforms such as the Queen Elizabeth carriers, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship and Successor submarines.
SharpEye is available in both I (X) and E/F (S) frequency bands. These share a high degree of component commonality due to their similar modular design and system architecture.
The solid-state radar transceiver transmits a low power, patented pulse sequence incorporating pulse compression that enables superior range discrimination across all range scales. This means that multiple operators can have access to an optimum picture at both long and short ranges simultaneously.
Doppler processing of radar returns provides coherent information concerning a target’s velocity and improves the probability of detection of small objects with a low RCS (Radar Cross Section). Through a series of electronic filters, SharpEye is able to distinguish between targets of interest and clutter whilst customisable waveforms can be configured for specific threats and to enhance the detection of specific targets of interest such as UAVs and helicopters.
The radar’s low power output also reduces the probability of detection by enemy ESM equipment.
Rohan Dearlove, Kelvin Hughes’ UK Maritime Sales Director, said, “The provision of SharpEye under this contract supports the MOD’s desire for technological convergence, with similar radars being already in service with the Fleet and selected for MOD programmes such as the Tide class tankers and the new OPVs.”
“This would extend the operational benefits associated with technological convergence to the newer vessels types such as Type 45, the two new carriers and future Type 26 and general purposes frigates,” he added.