March 8 (UPI) — Thales has been awarded a contract to provide coastal surveillance radars for France’s armed forces.
The French-headquartered company announced in a news release Thursday it will manufacture two Coast Watcher 100 radars, which it says offer optimal protection for tactical test areas, monitor maritime traffic in and around those areas and detect any intrusive threats.
Terms of the contract were not announced, though deliveries on the system are expected by the end of 2020.
About 30 of the systems are in service in several countries around the world.
“The French defense procurement agency will have a state-of-the-art detection, surveillance and control capability,” said Serge Adrian, director of Surface Radar activities for Thales
The radar will be used at the nation’s missile test ranges of the Mediterranean Sea and Landes, Defense World.net reported.
“Protecting these zones is a complex challenge because such a wide range of risks and threats need to be taken into account — intrusion by hostile vessels and/or aircraft into sensitive areas, trafficking, shipping accidents, maritime pollution, etc.,” the company said in the news release. “This calls for improved maritime surveillance capabilities, especially to identify and track intelligent, rapid, highly maneuverable and often fleeting targets in all sea states.”
This X-band long-range radar can detect small objects such as inflatables and jet skis to commercial aircraft and warships.
The low altitude surveillance radar are built around a modular solid-state transmitter associated with a COTS hardware-based processing. By performing a precise filtering of all environmental clutters, it allows for precise small target detection, discrimination and a low false alarm rate, according to Thales.
During on-site trials, the system detected a rigid-hulled inflatable boat within 16 nautical miles, a rescue boat within 19 nautical miles and a twin-engine plane at an altitude of 500 feet within 35 nautical miles.