UK Navy’s two new Batch 2 River-class OPVs to feature SharpEye radar

21 February 2017 (Last Updated February 21st, 2017 18:30)

The UK Royal Navy has selected Kelvin Hughes to deliver its SharpEye radar technology for two new Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), named HMS Tamar and HMS Spey.

UK Navy’s two new Batch 2 River-class OPVs to feature SharpEye radar

The UK Royal Navy has selected Kelvin Hughes to deliver its SharpEye radar technology for two new Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), named HMS Tamar and HMS Spey.

Kelvin Hughes will integrate both SharpEye I-Band and E / F-Band SharpEye radar systems into the combat management system of the OPVs under the new arrangement.

The SharpEye I-Band system has been designed to facilitate helicopter control, while the E / F-Band SharpEye technology will be used for navigation and to avoid collision.

Kelvin Hughes will also deliver its automatic radar plotting aid (ARPA) widescreen marine radar display as part of the order, which is to be installed on the navy's entire fleet of Batch 2 OPVs.

Kelvin Hughes regional sales manager Barry Jones said: “SharpEye is an ideal choice for these OPV projects.

“The system provides a 3-in-1 approach, with a type-approved navigation radar using advanced small target detection, a 2D surface surveillance capability and a helo detection mode to aid rotary aircraft recovery in bad weather; all in one compact radar package.”

The company will also incorporate the ships with other third-party equipment, such as warship electronic chart display and information system (WECDIS) and warship automatic identification system (WAIS).

Kelvin Hughes’ SharpEye technology offers the vessels an upgraded pulse-compressed Doppler navigation and situational awareness capability, which facilitates early warning of the presence of larger ships.

"The system provides a type-approved navigation radar using advanced small target detection, a 2D surface surveillance capability and a helo detection mode to aid rotary aircraft recovery."

It also warns of smaller targets and asymmetric threats with a low radar cross section, such as rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), small wooden boats and jet skis.

The new I-Band radar will allow the vessels to distinguish between genuine targets and environmental obstruction even in the worst weather conditions.

Kelvin Hughes was previously chosen in April 2015 to deliver its SharpEye equipment for Royal Navy’s Batch 2 OPVs, HMS Medway, HMS Forth and HMS Trent.

The company was also contracted earlier this month to supply I-Band (X-Band) and E / F-Band (S-Band) SharpEye Doppler radars for the Royal Malaysian Navy’s second-generation patrol vessels (SGPVs).


Image: Helicopter approach on the radar display. Photo: courtesy of Kelvin Hughes.