Thales and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) are developing the new AWWS surface warfare fire control system for future frigates for the Netherlands.

The existing fleet of multi-purpose frigates in service with the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) and the Belgian Navy is set to be replaced with the next-generation frigates as they are reaching the end of their lifecycle.

The new frigates are expected to join service in 2024 and will be used to undertake anti-submarine warfare.

According to Thales, AWWS will enable the new frigates to independently defend themselves, as well as nearby units, against air and surface threats that are growing exponentially in terms of complexity, coordination and speed.

“This development will also strengthen the opportunities of the Dutch Industry in the big development programmes in Europe and beyond.”

The new system will enable the operator to make the right decisions swiftly while tackling incoming threats.

AWWS will be equipped with a new generation of sensors and intelligent software that provides information to the operator regarding the best actions to counter each threat detected by radar and other sensors.

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By GlobalData

Thales Nederland CEO Gerben Edelijn said: “We have developed multiple systems in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Navy in the past. I am proud that we can contribute to the Dutch Navy through the AWWS contract.

“Together, we can set the new standard for the rest of the world. This development will also strengthen the opportunities of the Dutch Industry in the big development programmes in Europe and beyond.”

Thales has used a fully digital dual-band X/S radar suite comprising active-phased array radar (APAR) and Sea Master 400 radar technologies to develop the system to detect and monitor all above-water threats.

Before awarding the contract, the Dutch Ministry of Defence began advanced research into the technology with DMO, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and Thales more than ten years ago.