Closely watching the US Navy’s FFG(X) future frigate programme
Saab told MONS that it is seeing a clear market demand for fixed face naval surveillance radars, and that this demand has influenced the company’s decision to unveil such a version of its Sea GIRAFFE-4A S-band (2.3 Gigahertz/GHz to 2.5GHz/2.7-3.7GHz) to the marketplace: “When we created the baseline for our Sea GIRAFFE-4A radar, we of course designed it to be scalable and to cater for different configurations, for example rotating or fixed face configurations,” the company told MONS via a written statement.
The firm continued that it has been offering this version of the radar, in addition to the SeaGIRAFFE-4A rotating antenna version, “to selected customers for some time,” adding that it has now “decided to unveil the (fixed face) configuration to a broader customer base.”
Saab continued that the performance of both SeaGIRAFFE-4A variants largely remains unchanged, thanks to the radar’s modular design, with the radar offering an instrumented range in the region of 151.2nm (280km) and an elevation coverage of up to 70 degrees, according to the company’s literature: “Some customers prefer a ship design with an integrated mast for optimised performance while others focus on cost and top weight. The Sea GIRAFFE-4A can now offer both of these optimisations.”
That said, the firm continued that the fixed face variant of the radar will offer some advantages, notably, “increased flexibility in update rate, enabling quicker track initiation resulting in more time to act.”
Regarding customers, Saab stated that the firm is currently in discussions with potential customers regarding both fixed, and rotating, versions of the Sea GIRAFFE-4A. Interestingly, reports stated on 9 January that the company was closely watching the US Navy’s FFG(X) future frigate programme, to see if an opportunity develops to offer Sea GIRAFFE family radars to equip these new vessels alongside their Raytheon Enterprise Air Surveillance Radars.
Saab already provides the AN/SPS-77(V)1, the US designation for its Sea GIRAFFE-AMB C-band (5.25-5.92GHz) naval surveillance radar for the US Navy’s INDEPENDENCE-class littoral combat ships and the US Coast Guard’s HERITAGE-class offshore patrol cutter.