Defence and security company Saab has demonstrated and proven an improved capability for its Giraffe AMB radar to detect low, slow and small targets. This ‘Enhanced Low, Slow and Small’ (ELSS) function allows the Giraffe AMB to undertake dedicated counter-Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) operations, while conducting its full suite of regular air surveillance functions.
The new ELSS function was demonstrated in April during a UK-government sponsored trial to test and evaluate radar performance against demanding air targets in a complex environment. Known as ‘Bristow 15’ and conducted over the ranges at West Freugh, in Scotland, the trial is thought to be the only one of its kind held outside the USA.
Over six days more than 100 UAS sorties were flown against the radar, in multiple launches of up to six vehicles at a time. The Giraffe AMB showed unparalleled performance against low, slow and small airborne targets. Despite hundreds of birds and a demanding background of sea and ground clutter, the Giraffe AMB consistently detected, classified and tracked low, slow and small UAS vehicles flying increasingly complex tactical profiles. At the same time, the Giraffe AMB provided full, conventional air surveillance in its regular modes.
“Saab now offers ELSS as part of the Giraffe capability range. This gives a unique performance range from small slow UAVs, to rockets and mortars, to more traditional air targets, but all at the same time,” says Anders Linder, head of business unit Surface Radar Solutions, Saab.
With remarkable accuracy the ELSS function automatically finds and classifies low, slow and small targets; as slow and small as the quadcopter UAS vehicles typically flown by hobbyists. During the Bristow 15 trials, targets had a radar cross section as small as 0.001 sq metres. Saab’s ELSS function pushes the boundaries of small target detection, combines that with the latest in tracking technology and novel target classification techniques and wraps it up with a newly- designed, purpose-built human machine interface concept.
Although it was demonstrated on this occasion with the Giraffe AMB, the ELSS function can now be implemented on all Saab Giraffe radars. This means the Giraffe family of radars uniquely provides a simultaneous capability to detect and classify all kinds of air vehicles from ballistic missiles to the very small UAS.