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NS50 radars to equip BE/NL MCM mother ships

Thales Nederland is to supply its NS50 dual-axis multibeam active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the Belgium/Netherlands future mine countermeasures (MCM) programme.

Under contract to Kership – a joint venture of Naval Group and Piriou Group – the Hengelo-based company will provide NS50 systems for all 12 of the MCM mother ships on order for the Belgian Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN). Thales announced the contract on 20 January.

Belgium Naval & Robotics – a consortium of Naval Group and ECA Group – was in May 2019 contracted by Belgian Defence for the delivery of a next-generation BE/NL stand-off MCM capability based on mother ships employing a ‘toolbox’ of offboard MCM systems. The 10-year contract, valued at almost EUR2 billion (USD2.4 billion), covers the supply of 12 2,700-tonne displacement mother ship vessels (six for each navy) plus MCM toolboxes based on unmanned/autonomous systems drawn from ECA’s own UMIS offboard MCM suite.

The lead mother ship is due for delivery to the Belgian Navy in 2024. Kership is taking responsibility for the detailed design and subsequent construction of the 12 steel-hulled ships.

According to Thales, NS50 will provide the new MCM mother ships with air/surface situational awareness and self-protection capabilities. The system can also provide fire control for small-and medium-calibre gun systems.

A rotating single-face AESA radar operating in X-band, NS50 is the latest addition to Thales’ family of 4D AESA radars. The system shares significant commonality with the NS100 and NS200 S-band air surveillance radars in terms of software and architecture,

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