Ukraine conflict: Netherlands to supply weapon locating radars to Ukraine

by Naqi Wasif

Netherlands is supplying the Thales Squire system to Ukraine. (Thales Nederland)

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to supply two Squire manportable 2D ground surveillance radars and five AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder weapon locating radars to Ukraine.

The Thales Squire radar is used for 2D ground surveillance and target acquisition together with artillery fire adjustment. It is capable of detecting individuals walking at ranges exceeding 10 km and moving tank-sized vehicles at up to 48 km. Shell impacts can be detected at ranges of up to 20 km and micro unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at 5–6 km. The total system weight - including tripod, cables, headset, carrying harnesses, and battery pack - is less than 45 kg.

AN/TPQ-36(V) is a 3D mobile phased array radar that automatically locates hostile mortars, artillery, and rocket launchers. The radar can handle simultaneous fire from weapons at multiple locations, provide ‘first round' location, and generate an electronic ‘curtain' over a 90° sector.

The system weighs 1,134 kg and its operator shelter is carried by either a High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or a 2.75-tonne truck, which can be located up to 50 m from the unmanned antenna-transceiver assembly. In November 2015 the US Army delivered two AN/TPQ-36 radars to Ukraine as part of a USD20 million US aid programme for military and technical co-operation.

The Netherlands MoD expects delivery of the goods to Ukraine to take one or two weeks. The radar systems come from the MoD's operational reserves and will have to be replenished to avoid an adverse effect on the Netherlands' capability.

Training programmes are necessary for the operators to be able to make effective use of the Squire radars, which requires up to three months. Since the AN/TPQ-36 radars are already in service with Ukraine, training on them will not be required. If needed, it remains to be seen whether training will be given in the Netherlands or in Ukraine.

In addition to these systems, two mine detection robots, Barrett sniper rifles, and helmets and ballistic vests are set to be supplied by the Netherlands to Ukraine.

Israel Aerospace Industries unveils new STAR-X 3D naval radar

by Kate Tringham

IAI's new STAR-X 3D multimission naval radar, designed for OPVs and other small vessels. (IAI)

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has expanded its naval radar portfolio with the introduction of a new compact shipborne surveillance and threat alert radar designed to fulfil the needs of operators of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and other small vessels.

The new radar, named STAR-X 3D, is a fully digital 3D short- to medium-range X-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar that can perform simultaneous surface and air surveillance.

IAI said the new radar leveraged proven technology from other IAI-ELTA radars and employed gallium nitride solid-state transmit modules to achieve a compact lightweight design, especially for missions in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), ranging from counter-terrorism, smuggling, piracy, and search-and-rescue, up to full open-sea combat missions.

The radar's technical specifications include a maximum instrumented range in excess of 150 km, a detection range for low-flying attacking missiles out to more than 25 km, and a detection range for high-flying attacking fighter aircraft out to more than 60 km. It has a tracking capacity for more than 1,000 targets and an elevation coverage of 70°. The antenna weighs less than 350 kg.

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Microflown Avisa applies 3D shockwave detection for improved counter-artillery capability

by Giles Ebbutt

A Microflown Avisa Castle acoustic subarray mounted on an unmanned ground vehicle, displayed at the Omega Future Indirect Fires conference. The acoustic master is located in the centre and the meteorological station is mounted on a short mast next to the front right acoustic sensor. (Giles Ebbutt)

Microflown Avisa and Leonardo have developed new acoustic artillery detection technologies, briefing on these at the 2022 Omega Future Indirect Fires conference in Bristol.

Microflown Avisa has developed a new concept based on detecting the 3D shockwave (SW) generated by an artillery round – which originates at the tip of the shell along its trajectory – and the muzzle blast.

The company's Acoustic Multi-Mission Sensor (AMMS) detection system detects muzzle blast alone, and is based on micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and measures acoustic particle velocity. It consists of two orthogonally placed Microflown transducers and a microphone in a single hemispherical container.

Each AMMS provides the direction and elevation of the sound source; networked together these can provide accurate localisation. Earlier versions of the system have been used operationally and include both static networked sensor arrays and single vehicle or UAV-mounted sensors.

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Hanwha Systems develops ‘hyperconnectivity' solution

by Giles Ebbutt

The Hanwha Phasor 16-tile conformal airborne AESA satcom antenna displayed at FIA 2022. (Giles Ebbutt/Janes)

Hanwha Systems is developing a 5G-based tactical communications system incorporating the OneWeb low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications (satcom) system. It will include the new satcom antenna technology from Hanwha Phasor and a smartphone-based integrated versatile terminal (IVT).

Kevin Kim, vice-president for command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I), Hanwha systems, told Janes at 2022 Farnborough International Air Show (FIA) that the objective of the development programme is to provide “hyperconnectivity for multidomain operations”. He explained that the new system uses 5G for terrestrial communications because it offers low latency, high capacity, and high connectivity, particularly for unmanned systems and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors.

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