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Thales on track in TBMD

08 December 2006

For this purpose Thales' SMART-L Volume Search Radar was fitted with a test version of the recently developed Extended Long Range (ELR) Mode, performing out to maximum instrumented range of 480 km. SMART-L with the ELR Mode incontrovertibly proved to be able to detect and track targets representing Tactical Ballistic Missiles.

The first test event was held on 16 November during the US Navy's Track Exercise. An ARAV-B missile (Aegis Readiness Assessment Vehicle type B) was launched from the island of Kauai, near Hawaii. Hr.Ms. Tromp was in a position at around 200 km from Kauai. As soon as the target was sufficiently high above the island's hills, it was detected by SMART-L. The Thales radar tracked the missile through the major part of its trajectory that passed Hr.Ms. Tromp at a range of 150 km.

The second test event took place on 7 December when an Aries Target Test Vehicle was launched from Kauai. Hr. Ms. Tromp's position was about 300 km from the launch site. Again, SMART‑L performed flawlessly. SMART-L's track data were also made available via the Link-16 datalink, proving the interoperability with the USN.

These tests clearly demonstrate that the LCF/F124 AAW suite can be developed to full TBMD capabilities.

SMART-L is Thales' long range Volume Search Radar. This system is operational on the four LCF frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy and the three F124 frigates of the German Navy. The Korean Navy has purchased one SMART-L for its Landing Platform Dock that is presently being built. SMART-L's derivative, the S1850M radar, will be installed on the Horizon frigates for the French and Italian navies and the Type 45 frigates of the Royal Navy that are under construction. The Danish Navy has selected SMART-L for its three new air defence frigates. SMART-L is an electronically stabilized multibeam D-band radar with a range of about 400 km and an elevation angle of 70°. Its ultramodern technology in combination with refined signal processing guarantees an excellent performance, especially against stealthy targets.

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