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.’