Roll-Out of 29 COBRA Systems for France, Germany and the United Kingdom Completed
(Source: Thales; dated Aug. 23, web-posted Aug. 24, 2007)
Euro-Art announced today the roll-out of the last of 29 Counter Battery Radars (COBRA) that was delivered to the German government – France received 10 systems, Germany 12 and the UK 7. The EUR 500 million contract includes logistics and services.

COBRA is a high mobility weapon location radar which meets all NATO requirements, and is currently being manufactured by the Euro-Art Consortium. Euro-Art has developed the first multifunctional counter battery radar in the world with a fully active phased array antenna. The COBRA system is now being promoted worldwide for export sales. Germany has already sold two of its systems in an adapted version to Turkey.

Description of COBRA

COBRA is designed to detect small cross-section targets across the entire battlefield and can also classify ammunition types and firing modes, like rockets, swarms, salvos, etc. Integral tracking accuracy - combined with highly-efficient clutter rejection techniques - enables the system to accurately locate hostile battery positions and predict impact points within very short transmission periods. In less than two minutes, more than 40 six-gun batteries can be located and reported to a higher command. Parallel to the battery location function, COBRA can be tasked to perform friendly fire registration by tracking the counter-fire projectiles and providing correction parameters.

The COBRA radar is contained in a single cross-country wheeled vehicle, with an operations cabin and the radar antenna mounted on top. An Inertial Navigation System provides highly-accurate position information and antenna attitude in 3D. Automatic software compensation for terrain slopes and perturbations caused by wind or shell bursts enables the radar to be fielded without the need for jacks or legs. This self-contained, stand-alone configuration assures high mobility by enabling extremely rapid deployment and decamp times. At the heart of the system is a solid-state, active, modular antenna, which is made of approximately 3,000 gallium arsenide (GaAs) based transmit/receive modules. Phase/phase steering is employed in azimuth, and elevation and sidelobe level gain is controlled by optimizing - on command - the system's transmit/receive patterns. Array calibration is automatic and the solid state, modular architecture provides for high reliability and system availability.

The operations cabin houses the system's receiver, signal processor, data processing subsystem, radar operator's console, command, control and communications console and vehicle intercom. The operations cabin also has resistance to small arms fire and shell fragments and is provided with nuclear/biological/chemical and electromagnetic pulse protection. Detection range is claimed to be sufficient for the system to function efficiently while being operated outside the reach of enemy batteries. System survivability measures include very short transmission times and wide-band frequency agility and other more sophisticated electronic counter-countermeasures.

In the French service, COBRA is configured for one-man operation while the German and UK variants have two operators, enabling the radar to also act as a command post.
Operational Status

Three COBRA systems have been subjected to intensive live-fire testing at Meppen in Germany and at Canjuers in France. The Euro-Art consortium has successfully completed a round of qualifications tests for COBRA in the deserts of UAE under harsh environmental conditions to the satisfaction of its customers. Furthermore, COBRA has been deployed in several out-of-area operations including UN missions: German systems are involved in the Defence Against Mortar Attacks (DAMA) initiative that is part of the NATO Conference of National Armament Directors' Programme of Work for the Defence against Terrorism. French systems are in operation in Lebanon, UK's systems in Iraq.

Euro-Art, formed in 1989, is a management company based in Munich for receiving orders in the field of Advanced Radar Technologies. The shareholders of the company being:

-- EADS Deutschland GmbH, Munich, Germany
-- Thales Air Systems S.A., Rungis, France
-- Thales UK Ltd. Crawley, United Kingdom
-- Lockheed Martin Corp., Moorestown, USA

EADS Defence & Security (DS) is a systems solutions provider combining military air systems, missile systems, communications and intelligence systems, global security solutions, sensor and avionics systems, as well as test and support solutions into a single effective network. In 2006, DS - with its around 23,000 employees - achieved revenues of EUR 5.9 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2006, EADS generated revenues of EUR 39.4 billion and employs a workforce of about 116,000.

Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, MD, employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. Lockheed Martin is a world leader in radar research, design, development, and manufacture. For more than a half-century Lockheed Martin has produced radar and integrated surveillance systems, including the world's first solid-state radar in 1976. Today, Lockheed Martin radar systems are in operation on the ground, at sea and in the air in 38 countries, ranging from near the Arctic Circle to the Saudi Arabian desert to the tropics of Brazil. They detect, classify, track and engage distant targets over every terrain imaginable.

Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, addressing defence, aerospace and security markets worldwide. Thales's leading-edge technology is supported by 22,000 R&D engineers who offer a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy field-proven mission-critical information systems. Thales employs 68,000 people in 50 countries with forecast 2007 revenues in excess of EUR 12 billion.


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