Hensoldt South Africa on 22 September unveiled a new multi-mode active electronically scanned array (AESA) surveillance radar.
Dubbed ‘Quadome’, the all-new AESA surveillance radar is a dual-mode, three-dimensional (3D), multi-mission naval radar for air and surface surveillance as well as target acquisition.
The new AESA radar system was launched at Hensoldts’ main office in Irene, after it was initially announced on 15 September at the Defence Service Exhibition International (DSEI) in London, UK.
The 22 September unveiling was attended by the SANDF leadership including the Chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Mosiwa Hlongwane. Egyptian attaché and Executive Director of the Aerospace, Maritime, and Defence Industries Association of South Africa (AMD) Sandile Ndlovu were also present at the launch.
Managing Director of Hensoldt South Africa, Rynier van der Watt, said about the new radar system that, “with the development of this technology, the Hensoldt Group is making a significant investment into Hensoldt South Africa and as such into South Africa through one of the largest radar development programmes in South Africa in recent history.”
As a multi-mode radar, Quadome can switch between surveillance and self-defense modes depending on mission necessity, simplify operator interaction and reduce operator workload.
According to Hensoldt, the surveillance mode is used for general surface, and air surveillance, while the self-defense mode is for high-threat situations and target engagement, both modes feature a helicopter support function. Although, the self-defense features a separate gunfire support (GFS) function which can track up to three surface targets designated for tracking by the operator and uses B-Scope-Video.
For specific details, the Quadome has a gallium nitride solid-state transmitter with a continuous 360-degree rotation. Its update rate is either four seconds in surveillance mode or two seconds in self-defense mode. It has an AESA stacked beam with electronic stabilization with elevation coverage up to 70 degrees. It has a range from 100 meters to 200 km and can process more than a thousand air and surface targets.
Furthermore, Quadome radar can automatically detect countermeasures such as jammers and can deploy counter-countermeasures even in rough sea conditions up to sea state five.
Operating in C-band, the Quadome is a medium-PRF (pulse repetition frequency) pulsed doppler radar. Programme Manager of Hensoldt South Africa’s radar business unit, Jaco Botha, said, “We have specifically selected medium-PRF so that you can easily discriminate targets from the background clutter.” The radar also has an integrated Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) antenna. The software-defined radar has a configurable, flexible, and upgradeable system. The Quadome’s high tracking accuracy is compatible with surface-to-air missiles (SAM) to support effective air defence operations, Hensoldt said.
Managing Director of Hensoldt South Africa, Rynier van der Watt, explained that Hensoldt began developing the Quadome AESA radar when it acquired Tellumat in late 2020 as the basis for the company’s new radar business unit.
Hensoldt acquisition of Tellumat positioned the company as one of the largest defence radar development programmes in South Africa.
“With the integration of the Tellumat Defence & Security and ATM business units into HENSOLDT South Africa, we are now representing the three major sensor solution business lines of the HENSOLDT Group here in South Africa,” says Rynier van der Watt, Managing Director of HENSOLDT South Africa at the time of the acquisition.
Hensoldt other radar products includes the PrecISR gallium nitride AESA antenna technology with two-dimensional e-scan capability, combined with large bandwidth multi-channel radar core electronics and integrated radar signal processing.
In January, BIRD Aerosystems, the leading developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Airborne Surveillance, Information, and Observation (ASIO) solutions, received a follow-on contract to develop additional advanced capabilities for its RCD (Radar Control and Display) that controls HENSOLDT’ PrecISR advanced multi-mode radar family.
Hensoldt UK Mk 11 S and X band SharpEye radars
Hensoldt UK (previously Kelvin Hughes) Mk 11 S and X band SharpEye radars will be used to provide a navigation and surface surveillance capability for the three new Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs) being built by Damen Shipyards Cape Town for the South African Navy under Project Biro.