Airbus Defense & Space (DS), Inc., is under contract with its affiliate, Airbus DS Electronics and Border Security (EBS) GmbH (soon to be called Hensoldt), to provide TRS-4D naval radars for the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) programme through FREEDOM-variant LCS prime contractor, Lockheed Martin. A factory acceptance test was recently completed for the radar planned to go aboard LCS 21. This follows the already planned installations of TRS-4D aboard LCS 17 and LCS 19.

This software-defined radar is programmable, enabling the customer to define changes to radar characteristics to match future threats that evolve over the life of the ship. The ability to customize the characteristics of the TRS-4D helps enable LCS to evolve through its service life and adapt to evolving required operational capabilities and projected operational environments in an affordable manner.

The TRS-4D radar, with the superior performance of AESA technology, supports the LCS evolution to a frigate, meets current and future threats, and can readily be adapted to change over the service life of the ship,” Mike Cosentino, President of Airbus Defense and Space, Inc., said.

Combining multiple capabilities within a single radar is one way that TRS-4D contributes to the affordability of LCS. Employing state of the art AESA technology, the TRS-4D is a three-dimensional, multi-mode naval radar for surveillance, target acquisition, self-defense, gunfire support, and aircraft control. It automatically detects and tracks all types of air and sea targets, alleviating crew workload requirements. LCS affordability is further enhanced by the reliability of the TRS-4D’s solid state system design, keeping maintenance costs low and further contributing to lower LCS life cycle costs.

LCS are fast, agile surface combatants optimised for operating in the highly trafficked near-shore regions of the world. Through its innovative modular design, LCS can be reconfigured for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures in the near term, and adapt its capabilities for changing threats and scenarios that will occur over its service life. For the LCS programme, Airbus DS Inc. has delivered all eight AN/SPS-75 radars on time and within budget and maintains this high standard for the TRS-4D, delivering all three TRS-4D radars on time and within budget. 

The TRS-4D radar for LCS is a rotating version of the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) fixed panel TRS-4D radar currently going aboard the German F-125 class frigates. It combines mechanical and electronic azimuth scanning to achieve fast generation of target tracks. Airbus DS radars have been aboard LCS since the programme’s inception, with the TRS-4D’s predecessor, the AN/SPS-75 radar, going aboard each FREEDOM Variant LCS from LCS 1 through LCS 15. System characteristics of the TRS-4D are an excellent match for the environment faced by LCS and its evolution to a frigate. The radar’s AESA technology delivers increased sensitivity to detect smaller targets with greater accuracy, as well as faster track generation to give LCS more time to react to advanced threats and support enhanced weapons systems. (Graphic: Airbus)

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