The Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) air defence and command frigate (LCF) HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën has become the first ship of its class to receive the new SMART-L MM/N L-band long-range radar.
Developed and manufactured by Thales Nederland, the SMART-L MM/N radar (previously known as SMART-L Early Warning Capability [EWC]) is being procured as part of a combat systems upgrade that will confer the RNLN's four LCF ships with a maritime ballistic missile defence (MBMD) early warning capability. This will form part of the Netherlands' national contribution to NATO's Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) capability.
SMART-L MM/N is a new active electronically scanned array radar, using Gallium Nitride transmit/receive modules, designed to detect air, surface, and high-speed exo-atmospheric targets out to an instrumented range of 2,000 km. Combining dual-axis multibeam processing with a patented extended long-range waveform already proven in live at-sea testing, SMART-L MM/N is designed to operate in a number of rotating and staring modes to support volume air surveillance and/or BMD long-range search and track.
The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) awarded Thales Nederland a contract in June 2012 covering the development and manufacture of four SMART-L MM/N systems. The second radar off the production line was the first to be delivered to the DMO for ship installation (the first of class radar being used to support system qualification on land).
Installation of the SMART-L MM/N radar on board De Zeven Provinciën was undertaken at Den Helder on 21 March. Other changes being embodied as part of the MBMD upgrade include modifications to the ship's Guardion combat management system (with new integrated air and missile defence functionality developed by DMO/JIVC/SATS) and the integration of a Tecnobit LINPRO multi-link processor (enabled to exchange data via the Link 16 Joint Range Extension Applications Protocol [JREAP]-C beyond-line-of-sight message protocol).
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