HENGELO, Netherlands --- Once again, the Thales Anti Air Warfare suite proved its status as most advanced naval defence system in the world. During live missile firing tests held by the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) in March 2005, the APAR radar system successfully guided two Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSM) and two Standard Missiles (SM2) simultaneously to various targets, destroying them all.
In March of this year the RNLN performed three test scenarios on board of “De Zeven Provinciën”, the first of class of the new Air Defence and Command frigates, in the vicinity of the island of Madeira. The tests constituted an absolute first in any test firing: APAR engaged two drones by guiding four missiles simultaneously to the targets, using only one of its four faces. And thanks to the system's short reaction time and high accuracy, this face did not nearly reach its maximum capacity, leaving plenty of room for even more engagements.
Based on Interrupted Continuous Wave Illumination (ICWI), the system’s performance in these tests unambiguously proves APAR's capability to protect fleets and other objects at open sea, or in a littoral environment, against a multitude of air threats. APAR's performance in these tests constitutes a milestone in naval defence. No other ship in the world has ever shown this kind of engagement capability.
Previous tests with ICWI guidance technique
The first missile tests of APAR were held in November 2003, also on board of “De Zeven Provinciën”. In August 2004, the Air Defence and Command Frigate "Sachsen", the first of class of the German Navy F124 frigates, successfully tested the system as well. These tests consisted of firing 21 SM-2 and ESSM missiles against several types of threats. They unequivocally demonstrated the system's capability against multiple targets.
APAR, Thales' Active Phased Array Radar, is the world's most sophisticated multi-function radar. Its non-rotating antenna houses four faces that together cover the full 360 degrees. Each face consists of more than 3000 very small radar transmitter/receiver (T/R) elements, giving the radar its unique capabilities and high operational availability. The inherent agility of APAR guarantees a high performance in the most adverse conditions, under severe electronic protection measures.
APAR makes use of Interrupted Continuous Wave Illuminations (ICWI) technology, a concept that has been developed in the international Tri-lateral Frigate Cooperation formed by the Netherlands, Germany and Canada. This technology enables APAR to simultaneously guide multiple missiles to one or more threats. The ICWI technology has recently been contracted to the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force.
Thales is an international electronics and systems group serving defence, aerospace, security and services markets. The Group employs 60,000 people worldwide and generated revenues of 10.3 billion euros in 2004.