British Aerospace Defence Systems announced this week that it has won a contract worth over £100m to supply its Sampson multi-function radar as part of the air defence system of the Royal Navy’s planned type 45 destroyers.
The deal includes Sampson’s full-scale engineering development by the Isle of Wight-based firm, together with the production of the first of 12 radars required for the overall programme.
Sampson is the result of 20 years’ research and development by British engineers and is much more powerful than existing systems, a spokesman for BAe Defence Systems said. The design allows the system to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, which would otherwise require separate systems. It is also immune to jamming.
Sampson’s active array antenna has thousands of miniature transmitter and receiver units mounted on its face. These reduce the energy losses that limit the performance of conventional systems.
Radars based on active array technologies will progressively make traditional radar systems obsolete in a military environment of increasing uncertainty and more pressing threats, said the spokesman.
Clive Dolan, managing director of BAe’s Land and Sea Systems Division, said the Sampson system could also be used for `land-based roles such as ballistic missile defence’.