Netherlands Defence Materiel Organization has awarded a contract to Thales to modify the SMART-L radars onboard the Royal Netherlands Navy’s De Zeven Provinciën-class air defence and command (LCF) frigates.
Under the contract, the company will optimise the new SMART-L radar to be able to perform early detection of tactical ballistic missiles shortly after their launch in the air space without the need of external prompts.
Thales Nederland CEO Gerben Edelijn said: "Through this contract, we support NATO’s long-term plans for a maritime defence against ballistic missiles."
Capable of detecting ballistic missiles, the SMART-L radar provides its traditional air defence and is designed to provide long-range air and surface surveillance and target designation while operating in L-band.
The 3D multi-beam volume search radar is capable of simultaneously detecting and tracking several threats while also providing exact ballistic trajectory of each missile and precise estimate of its point of impact as well as launch position.
The SMART-L radar as well as S1850M long-range radar modification package contracted by Netherlands could also benefit the radars that are also in service with the navies of Denmark, France, Germany, the UK, Italy and South Korea.
Currently, the Netherlands Navy currently operates four De Zeven Provincien-class guided missile frigates built by Royal Schelde, which were purchased to replace the Tromp-class and Jacob van Heesmarck-class frigates.
Armed with the Harpoon surface-to-surface missile system, the frigates feature cout low-probability-of-intercept radar to provide surface searches, as well as hangar and helicopter decks for a NH 90.
Image: The Royal Netherlands Navy’s De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate, HNLMS De Zeven Provincien at Portsmouth Naval Base, UK. Photo: courtesy of George.Hutchinson.