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Euronaval 2022: Seahawk A3 mounting breaks cover

The sensor cluster for Seahawk A3 combines the RADA MHR radar (using fixed AESA panels) and MSI-Defence Systems' own SATOS electro-optical director. (Richard Scott/NAVYPIX)

UK-based MSI-Defence Systems unveiled the latest addition to its Seahawk family of shipborne stabilised gun mountings at the Euronaval 2022 maritime exhibition in Paris.

The new Seahawk A3 builds on the existing A2 variant but introduces a RADA-supplied Multi-mission Hemispheric Radar (MHR) cluster to provide detection and cueing for the proprietary Surveillance Acquisition Targeting Optical System (SATOS) electro-optical director. As well as a permanent installation, MSI-Defence Systems is also offering the option of a self-contained skid-mounted system suitable for rapid deployment.

The Seahawk A2 gun system marries a MK 44 30 mm cannon, installed on a fully stabilised mounting with 400 rounds of ammunition, with an off-mount SATOS director (incorporating a 3–5 μm thermal imager, a low-light colour TV camera, and a laser rangefinder), a video autotracker, and a ballistic computer and predictor. Control is exercised from a remote operator console (ROC) with a high-resolution display.

Recent development by MSI-Defence has focused on introducing an enhanced counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) capability. Trials with 30 mm programmable air-burst munition (PABM) ammunition have demonstrated performance against small, low-signature UASs, according to the company.

Taking the A2 baseline as its foundation, Seahawk A3 has been conceived to extend the surveillance perimeter through the integration of the RADA-developed MHR. MHR is a solid-state S-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) using four lightweight, electronically stabilised fixed panel arrays to achieve full 360º coverage. Data published by RADA claims a maximum detection range of 5 km against a very small nano-UAS, increasing to 25 km against a medium UAS, and 35 km against a fourth-generation fighter.

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