Searchwater radar to be used by new UK Merlin airborne surveillance helicoptersNews
May 27, 2015
SURREY, United Kingdom. Officials at Lockheed Martin selected the latest generation of the Searchwater radar and Cerberus mission system from Thales Surveillance for use on the United Kingdom's Merlin helicopter. The Merlins are specially adapted to provide the Royal navy with an airborne surveillance and control capability (ASaC).
This Merlin fleet will replace the Royal navy’s current Sea King Mark 7 ASaC force which has an earlier version of the Searchwater and Cerberus systems. The new capability is expected to enter operational service in 2018 when the last of the Sea King ASaC helicopters are retired.
The Thales Searchwater-Cerberus combination has has been deployed for maritime force protection and air surveillance as well as for coalition forces on land operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, says Victor Chavez, CEO at Thales UK. The CROWSNEST capability builds on a trusted system to counter threats that the Royal navy will face over the forthcoming years, he continues. Via new radar modes and enhanced performance against low radar cross section targets, the Royal navy will have a rotary-based platform to protect the new aircraft carriers, the fleet, and joint forces, Chavez notes.
Improvements to the Royal navy’s new system consist of enhanced performance and data processing, as well as the additional modes to the multi-mission radar. An enhanced human machine interface, lower weight, and built-in training features have all been designed to future proof the system. The newer system will also be applicable fixed wing platforms in addition to rotary wing aircraft.