Multifunction Radar Will Equip French Navy FTI Frigates
Thales announced on 9 May that the first SEA FIRE radar for the French Navy’s FTI future medium frigate programme is now in production.
SEA FIRE is a solid-state multifunction radar with a four-panel phased array antenna. Designed for roles from self-defence to extended air defence, it provides protection from conventional, asymmetric and emerging air and surface threats. Naval Group won a contract from the DGA procurement agency in April 2017 to develop and build five 4,000t FTI frigates, the first of which is due for delivery by 2023 and will enter service in 2025.
Three years intense research into new radar technologies and architectures, conducted by Thales with DGA support, have resulted in the SEA FIRE concept. The focus of capability is on the new threats faced by the French Navy, particularly that of supersonic missiles. At the leading edge of innovation, SEA FIRE benefits from Thales’ considerable experience in ‘big data’ and cybersecurity as well as radar technology. Subsequent software developments will further improve the product’s performance and operational reliability throughout its lifecycle.
The first radar will be available for qualification testing at DGA facilities in Saint-Mandrier in 2019 and Thales will deliver the four panels for the first SEA FIRE radar for the FTI programme to Naval Group’s Lorient shipyard in 2020.