A new 3D radar capable of cutting through interference equal to 10,000 mobile phone signals, has successfully commenced integration trials at a secret electromagnetic radar testing facility on the Isle of Wight.
The testing of ARTISAN 3D radar is in advance of installation on the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers (QEC) which are being assembled in Rosyth, Scotland.
The ARTISAN trials will test a series of integrated systems which include the provision of 3D air surveillance, target identification and air traffic management services for the ships, The ARTISAN 3D Radar will provide extensive air traffic control and medium range tactical picture capability with ground breaking features such as tracking more than 900 targets at one time and has the ability to spot objects as small as a tennis ball traveling up to three times the speed of sound.
The BAE Systems radar testing facility on the island occupies the site of the old Somerton Aerodrome which began as an airfield in 1916. As well as being equipped for the manufacture and test of aircraft components, the aerodrome operated flights between London and the Isle of Wight in the 1930s. The site was taken over by the Decca gramophone company in 1959 which had contributed to the war effort resulting in a number of ventures into marine radar and navigation. This heritage continues today through BAE Systems’ expert radar testing at the site.
ARTISAN 3D is successfully providing ‘real world’ tracks and radar video to the QEC Combat Management System – which is also produced by BAE Systems – whilst receiving simulated ‘own-ship’ data in the QEC Mission System Test Facility. ARTISAN 3D is being successfully controlled from CMS consoles to provide operators with both a medium range tactical picture and the essential air traffic control picture the ships will rely on.
In addition to the strong integration results, the system is operating successfully with the QEC Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, which can identify aircraft as friendly and track its range from a potential threat.
The aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the UK Ministry of Defence. The first ship will begin sea trials in 2017.
Les Gregory, Product and Training services Director, BAE Systems said, “I am delighted that the ARTISAN 3D Radar is producing excellent results as predicted for the QEC, it is an exciting milestone not only in the development of BAE Systems radar programme but for the future of Royal Navy warships.”
The medium-range radar system, which has a reach of up to 200km completed its factory testing in December 2012 and was installed at the Aircraft Carrier Alliance Electromagnetic Environment Assessment facility at BAE Systems, Cowes, earlier this year.
The radar is currently undergoing First of Class sea trials on board a Type 23 Frigate ahead of full fleet fit.
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