Hensoldt UK to build radar tech for Britain’s new naval supply ships

Hensoldt UK to build radar tech for Britain’s new naval supply ships

MILAN — The British subsidiary of German sensor maker Hensoldt will equip three of the Royal Navy’s new military logistics ships with surveillance radar technologies featuring advanced friend-or-foe identification capabilities, the company announced May 2.

London-based Hensoldt UK received a contract from the ship program’s lead contractor, Navantia UK, to incorporate various systems aboard the new Fleet Solid Support ships, part of the country’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The contract value was not disclosed.

The systems will include the Quadome Naval 3D air and surface radar, advertised as being capable of detecting small-sized threats, as well as air traffic management systems and Kelvin Hughes Integrated Navigation Bridge Systems (INBS).

Also part of the package is an antenna for classifying nearby objects as friendly or not, a key capability for crowded theaters like the Red Sea, where an international coalition of warships works to protect maritime traffic against attacks from Yemen-based and Iran-backed Houthi militias.

While the Royal Navy has previously sent two vessels to the Red Sea, then-Minister of State for the Armed Forces James Heappey in January floated the idea that the country could deploy an aircraft carrier to the area if threats to cargo traffic persist.

The FSS ships that Hensoldt will equip will be a key part of the replenishment processes of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

The INBS deliverables include navigation radars and multifunction displays. According to a company press release, all of the related components will be designed and built from Hensoldt’s UK headquarters.

As an outcome of the FSS contract, Hensoldt said it will invest over $1.2 million into its existing Enfield, North London, factory and testing facilities to create what it envisions to be a “new European support hub for Quadome radars.”

Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo is a Europe correspondent for Defense News. She covers a wide range of topics related to military procurement and international security, and specializes in reporting on the aviation sector. She is based in Milan, Italy.

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