Lockheed Martin have chosen a new generation of the Thales Searchwater radar and Cerberus mission system for specially adapted Merlin helicopters to provide the Royal Navy with an airborne surveillance and control capability (ASaC), Thales officials announced Friday.
The fleet of Merlin helicopters will replace the Royal Navy’s outgoing Sea King Mark 7 ASaC force, which has an earlier version of the Searchwater and Cerberus systems. The new capability will enter operational service in 2018 when the last of the Sea King ASaC helicopters are retired, Thales officials say.
The Thales Searchwater-Cerberus combination is designed for maritime force protection, air surveillance, and for land operations. The CROWSNEST capability of the Thales helicopter avionics has new radar modes and improved performance against low-radar-cross-section targets.
The Thales radar and mission systems will make the most of equipment, training, and expertise reuse by upgrading, updating, and adapting existing capabilities, Thales officials say.
Improvements to the Royal Navy’s new system include enhanced performance and data processing, as well as the addition of new modes to the multi-mission radar. It has an improved human machine interface, reduced weight, and built-in training.
Originally designed for maritime airborne force protection, the advanced multi-mode radar and sensor systems can detect and track several targets over land, air, and sea for anti-piracy operations and many other missions.
For more information contact Thales online at www.thalesgroup.com/en/united-kingdom.