The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) air operations control station (AOCS) in Nieuw Milligen received the Signaal Multibeam Acquisition Radar for Targeting-Long range (SMART-L) in Wier, Friesland, on 16 January, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 17 January. The radar will replace the Medium Power Radar (MPR), which has been in service for more than 40 years.
"Much has changed during the time the [MPR] has been in service," said AOCS commander Colonel Marco Zeemeijer. "Not only are there new players in the airspace, like unmanned aerial vehicles, but also modern combat aircraft. Nieuw Milligen is ready for its role in the air force of the future."
Building work on the Wier site is expected to be completed this year, to be followed by the SMART-L's transfer to the RNLAF, according to the Dutch MoD. Thales, which is supplying the radar systems, said on 22 January that full operational capability is included in the delivery. "It will be set to work in the coming weeks, after which the final qualification trials will be executed in May. The radar will be handed over to the customer for operational use after analysis and reporting in September," a company spokesperson told Jane's.
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