Thales has unveiled a new integrated mast designed for surface ships. The new, I-Mast 100 mast system integrates most of the sensors and antennas placed on a modern frigate, grouped into one modular structure. The new design offers efficient 360° unobstructed view for all radar, optronic and electronic warfare sensors. Electromagnetic interference between the different systems has been solved by integrating all systems into a common topside elements rather than designing each system separately and resolving interference during the final integration phase.
The system’s support has also been simplified, providing access from within the mast, and protecting much of the electronics and cabling from wind, and corrosion. The new mast is offered as a fully tested turnkey-module, delivered to the construction shipyards for assembly into the vessel. This procedure eliminates complicated and lengthy installation activities. Sea trials to demonstrate the operation of the ship’s sensors and antennas can be reduced substantially. In this program Thales implemented much of the knowledge and experience obtained from the construction of the I-Mast 400 for the Royal Netherlands Navy’s Holland class Patrol Ships. The first system is scheduled to be installed on the Royal Dutch Navy’s Holland class Patrol Ship at the end of 2010.