Eurosatory 2014

Giraffe extends its reach (ES14E1)

16 June 2014

Last month Saab (Hall 6, Stand J303) announced a major expansion of its radar family with the addition of five new members. The company has already achieved considerable success with the Arthur C-band weapon-locating system and its series of Giraffe air defence radars on retractable masts.

At the top end of the range is the Giraffe 8A, a long-range S-band 3D sensor that can be produced in fixed, transportable and fully mobile configurations.

Intended primarily for remote operation as part of an integrated air defence network, Giraffe 8A can also be operated locally. It has an instrumented range of 470km and an altitude capability of more than 40,000m, bringing true long-range air defence capability to the Saab radar family for the first time.

Giraffe 8A produces 15 stacked beams to provide elevation coverage from ground level to more than 65°. It can operate in a continuous 360° scan mode, rotating mechanically at 24rpm, or can be steered electronically across an operator-specified sector of 40° to 100°. More than 1,000 air defence tracks can be maintained, and the system also has anti-ballistic missile capability, in which case more than 100 tracks can be followed.

Saab has paid special attention to Giraffe 8A’s electronic counter-countermeasures properties. The radar generates very low sidelobes and incorporates sophisticated frequency agility in pulse-topulse, burst-to-burst and scanto- scan regimes. It also switches and staggers pulse repetition frequency and transmits random jitter to further confuse countermeasures. It automatically selects the least jammed frequencies and can transmit intermittently or randomly. The radar offers a passive detection and tracking capability against jammers.

While the Giraffe 8A occupies the high end of the family, Saab has introduced new radars in the medium-range category in the form of Giraffe 4A and Sea Giraffe 4A for naval use.

Employing similar S-band technology to the larger radar, Giraffe 4A offers true 3D multirole capability, combining the air defence and weapon locating tasks in a single unit.

Able to be airlifted in a single C-130 load, Giraffe 4A can be deployed by two people in less than 10 minutes. It can operate as a standalone radar or as part of a wider network.

To complete its new line-up, Saab has introduced two short-range radars, Giraffe 1X and Sea Giraffe 1X. Working in the X-band, Giraffe 1X is intended primarily as a highly mobile radar that can work with very short-range air defence systems in the battlefield or at sea.

Weighing less than 300kg, Giraffe 1X can be mounted on a small vehicle or vessel or in fixed installations such as on a building or a mast. The radar has a sense-and-warn function and can be optionally configured for weapon location.

(445 words)