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EW Europe: Saab Smart SIGINT for Subs

Rolled out across various forthcoming contracts for next-generation subs in Europe & the Far East

Saab has disclosed details regarding its Smart SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) concept designed to provide a next-generation Electronic Warfare (EW) capability to platforms operating in the underwater environment.

Speaking to MONS at the EW Europe event in London on 7 May 2017, company executives from Saab explained how the concept could be rolled out across various forthcoming contracts for next-generation submarines in Europe as well as the Far East although specific details remain undisclosed.

According to Gavin Copeland, Senior Marketing and Sales Executive at Saab Grintek Defence, the Smart SIGINT concept comprises an internally funded research and development effort currently being pursued by Saab Medev in Germany. The aim of the solution is to provide an integrated operating picture fusing communications intelligence (COMINT) and radar data into a Combat Management System for processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) if necessary.

Copeland described how such a concept could be provided by optronics masts already integrated on board many submarines providing commanders with Electronic Support Measures (ESM) for the surveillance and identification of targets; as well as Direction Finding (DF) and Early Warning antennas, similar to technology employed in the land environment.

Explaining the concepts of operation (CONOPS) associated with such technology, Copeland described how submarines for example, could surface following a cursory check of the horizon by periscope, before conducting a 360-degree sweep from the optronics mast in just a few seconds before submerging and processing and exploiting data gathered beneath the surface.

“The use of COMINT and Communications ESM (C-ESM) enables any platform with the capability of reconnaissance and surveillance of radio communication signals,” Saab literature explained while describing how applications could include geo-location of emitters; analysis of the complete wideband spectrum; and analysis of radio signals in the COMINT realm; while C-ESM contributes to situation awareness with the detection, identification and tracking of emitters. “Fusion systems can be added to gather information from different sensors and [other] information sources like radios, satellites, cable and the Internet,” company literature continued to describe.

Content of different types can be processed like text, speech, IP traffic, pictures and video with typical results of information and intelligence systems providing high-level and specific reports, visualisations of communications networks and relations of persons and objects,” Saab added.

Saab’s product line includes the Underwater Maritime Equipment (UME) 50, 150 and 250 solutions as well as ARS-8000 for strategic applications; CRS-8000 for tactical applications; I2FS-8000 Information Fusion System; SIPAC Speech and Data Processor; CCI Online and Offline Analysis Tool; and OC-6040 Signal Analysis system.

The UME family of sub-surface tactical ESM and ELINT systems are suitable for integration on board all sub-surface boats with additional option for blue-green laser sensors for LiDAR detection.

The systems are all capable of operating in blue water or in the littorals with advanced processing capability providing automatic interception and analysis of radar signals, resulting in classification against one or more library databases and presentation of the classification and parametric data to the operator,” Saab explained.

Andrew White 



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