LE BOURGET --- The German official troop trials with the first Roland prototype in the new "extended service life" (Nutzungsdauer verlÃ¤ngert / NDV) version -with the official designation FRP 1A2 - were successfully concluded in recent weeks. With these positive results, the "approval for realization" (previously: approval for production) can now be given for Roland NDV. Furthermore, the German customer is now considering various versions for the start of series procurement, which is planned for the army from 2004 onwards.
According to the army, the Roland air defense system is to be kept in service until at least 2015 and employed for object protection and escort, both for homeland defense and by crisis reaction forces. Between 1981 and 1983 the German Army procured 143 Roland surface-to-air missile systems on a tank chassis. In the early 1990s the Luftwaffe purchased 117 Roland systems on wheeled vehicles.
"If the Roland systems of the German Army are modernized within the next few years, obsolescence - in particular of the electronic components - can be avoided and the availability of the weapon systems guaranteed until their decommissioning. In addition, this will reduce the high maintenance and repair costs. Furthermore, it will permit the urgently needed linking of the Roland system to the army air defense reconnaissance and control system (HFlaAFÃ¼Sys) and thus warfare combining army air defense with the Gepard self-propelled armored air defense gun system and the light air defense system (leFlaSys) will be possible," explains Werner Kaltenegger, CEO of EADS/LFK.
Expanding on the results of the bilateral (Franco-German) development to improve combat efficiency of the weapon system, the prerequisites for making the Roland FRP system fit for the second half of its life were fulfilled in only 24 months thanks to a supreme effort using a special German prototype. This prototype reflects state-of-the-art technology and meets the requirements placed on an air defense unit today.
The main measures to extend service life are:
--Introduction of mil bus connections between the new digital computers,
--Installation of a built-in test system (including a new user interface),
--Improved missile control and adaptation of the guidance laws for the Roland 2 and Roland 3 guided missiles types,
--Measures (enhancements for assemblies and software) to connect the Roland system to the army air --Defense reconnaissance and control system (HFlaAFÃ¼Sys)
--Improved operability (e.g. with multifunctional displays), and
--Adaptive development of peripheral equipment.
During the above-mentioned successful official troop trials Roland NDV was put through numerous tests. These include:
--Static and dynamic system tests
--Climatic chamber tests
--Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) tests
--Firing tests with twelve operational missiles
--Driving tests on various types of terrain
--Inspection of the integrated test system.
The results of the official troop trials also demonstrate to the eleven Roland export customers that the surface-to-air missile system is subject to continual successful developments and has growth potential.
EADS/LFK-LenkflugkÃ¶rpersysteme GmbH is a business unit of EADS European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company. With revenues amounting to EUR 30.8 billion, EADS, which was founded in July 2000, is the world's second largest aerospace company. EADS has a workforce of approximately 103,000.