Thales introduces AESA based maritime surveillance airborne radar

Thales has unveiled today the a new version of the Searchmaster multirole surveillance radar equipped with active electronic scanning antenna (AESA) technology.

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Thales Searchmaster radar shares some technologies with other AESA technologies developed by the company, particularly with the RBE2 radar developed for the Rafale combat aircraft programme. The Searchmaster radar has been selected for France's ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft, extending the platform capabilities beyond maritime search and anti-submarine warfare. Photo: Thales
Thales Searchmaster radar shares some technologies with other AESA technologies developed by the company, particularly with the RBE2 radar developed for the Rafale combat aircraft programme. The Searchmaster radar has been selected for France's ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft, extending the platform capabilities beyond maritime search and anti-submarine warfare.  Photo: Thales
Thales Searchmaster radar shares some technologies with other AESA technologies developed by the company, particularly with the RBE2 radar developed for the Rafale combat aircraft programme. The Searchmaster radar has been selected for France’s ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft, extending the platform capabilities beyond maritime search and anti-submarine warfare. Photo: Thales

Thales is introducing at Euronaval the Searchmaster maritime surveillance radar utilizing AESA technology, which provides multirole surveillance capability covering five mission types: anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, maritime surveillance, ground surveillance and tactical air support.

The AESA scanning technology used on this radar is derived from the RBE2 AESA radar developed for the Omnirole Rafale combat aircraft. The combination of a rotating antenna adds 360° coverage with extended range. According to Thales, the use of electronic scanning in the vertical plane enables simultaneous short-range and long- range surveillance, and continuous detection in harsh environmental conditions.

Rafale No. 137 was the first to be equipped with Thales' new RBE2 AESA radar and the new optronic suit. Photo: Dassault Aviation
Rafale No. 137 was the first to be equipped with Thales’ new RBE2 AESA radar and the new optronic suit. Photo: Dassault Aviation
This high-performance radar meets the requirements of airborne surface, ground and air surveillance missions. The system is compact and lightweight, compared to existing systems, (weighing approximately 75kg) and is suitable for operation on board MALE (medium altitude, long endurance) UAVs, medium-tonnage or heavy-lift mission helicopters and mission aircraft (turboprop or jet-engined), providing all these platforms with multimission capabilities.

Thales expects the new systems to reduce maintenance and support costs and improves operational availability. Searchmaster has been selected by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) for the French Navy’s upgraded Atlantique 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft.