Thursday, 31 July 2014
Advanced search

Navy's new Type 23 frigate radar 'five times more efficient'

BAE Systems has installed the first of a new class of Type 23 frigate radar it claims is five times more efficient than existing systems.

The defence firm says its ARTISAN medium range 3D surveillance radar, fitted on the Type 23 frigate HMS Iron Duke as part of its five-year refit, can monitor over 800 objects simultaneously between 200m and 200,000m away.

The system can detect something as small as a tennis ball travelling at three times the speed of sound more than 25km away and cut through interference equivalent to 10,000 conflicting mobile phone signals, according to BAE.

The Navy is planning to install ARTISAN on all its Type 23 frigates, amphibious ships and the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers where it will support Air Traffic Management. It is also being proposed for the new Type 26 frigates, which are due to come into service after 2020.

The radar system weighs under 700kg and is made out of the same lightweight carbon glass fibre materials found in Formula 1 racing cars. It is designed to be fitted within 21 days, which BAE says is a vast improvement on other predecessor systems.

The company tested ARTISAN in an anechoic chamber – a room designed to completely absorb reflections of both sound and electromagnetic waves – similar to that used to test the Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighter’s electronic capabilities

BAE’s managing director of maritime services, Rory Fisher, said in a statement: ‘BAE Systems is playing a key role in helping the fleets of the future evolve to meet the ever-changing demands of the battlespace, creating technology solutions that are quicker, lighter, more resilient and easier to implement than ever before.’

Readers' comments (11)

  • So, release 1000 football-sized metallic balloons and the system falls over. Silly, really.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • John, you're spot on. If you could just explain how or from what vehicle (sea/air/land) you would release these balloons, please.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • if they wait long enough there won't be any ships to install it on, save a fortune !

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Nice to see the normal negative and cynical comments being trolled out. For goodness sake I wonder why some people bother getting up in the mornings. Its a sad reflection on a peculiar British trait. And don't call it realism, because it isn't its just being negative pure and simple! So onto the facts! This is an excellent radar, the best of its type in the world, designed and built by seriously dedicated and skilled engineers to equip our warships now and well into the future to go about there duties of protecting the nations vital interests around the world. A major milestone and a big thank you to all concerned.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • You would release the balloons from a "civilian" fishing boat (slightly lighter than air) or light aircraft (slightly heavier than air), before your chums fire their exocets in the usual way.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I think there'll be a little discrimination invloved and some idea of signature scale relevance. I hope there aren't any non engineers reading some of these comments because its exactly why we can't get our positive messages across to the wider world. Let's just live off vacuum cleaners as a positive shall we???

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • ...'carbon glass fibre materials'... - is this a new class of composite-composite material I haven't heard about?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The radar can detects and interpret 1000's of signals. The Mission software MONITORS the 800 most likely to be a threat. It will monitor's John's fishing boat, it will then note and ignore the 800 balloons it has released. Unless one of those balloons starts moving at supersonic speeds, at which point it will tell the Goalkeeper/Phalanx/ECM suite/Chaff 'n' flare dispensers. The Ship's captain will then decide what to do about your fishing boat; hopefully his solution will include a SeaCeptor.

    Carbon-glass fibre is a composite of glass fibre (GRP) and carbon fibre. Lighter and stronger than GRP but not as expensive as carbon fibre. Carbon/kevlar weave composites are also common.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anything that improves the surveillance, defensive and offensive capabilities of our Navy's ships sounds good to me.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Andrew: I assume that the radar tells the weapons systems which can then make a decision as to whether to fire, without involving a human?

    It's just if a supersonic missile comes in there is no time to involve the Captain.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 per page | 20 per page

Have your say


My saved stories (Empty)

You have no saved stories

Save this article

Digital Edition

The Engineer July Digi Issue


London Mayor Boris Johnson is lobbying for a £10 additional charge for diesel cars to drive into Central London by 2020, and for road tax on diesel cars and all pre-2006 cars to be increased, to counter air pollution. What option most closely matches your opinion on this?

Previous Poll

Europe's largest tidal array in the Pentand Firth off Orkney will eventually generate up to 86MW of power. What will it take for tidal energy to make an appreciable contribution to the UK's energy needs?

Read and comment on the results here