HENSOLDT is fully dedicated to the UK’s defence, security, and prosperity. In accordance with its strategy to further establish its business in the UK, HENSOLDT continues to invest in its headquarters and main industrial facility in Enfield, as well as its Slinfold based Avionics business. This will ensure the necessary local resources and skillsets are in place to manage increasingly complex programmes. With a growing list of contracts and opportunities across all sectors relating to UK Defence and Security, HENSOLDT’s ongoing inward investment and transfer of technology ensures continued support for domestic requirements and exports.
This article outlines a number of HENSOLDT capabilities relevant to UK requirements in the Air, on Land and at Sea, all of which are led and fully supported by HENSOLDT UK and include significant UK content.
Ground Based Air Defence Capabilities
Advancing Ground-Based Radar Systems for Enhanced Battlefield Capabilities: HENSOLDT, a renowned provider of radar systems, has been continuously delivering cutting-edge solutions to enhance ground-based and air defence capabilities. HENSOLDT is committed to supporting and collaborating with local industrial partners to meet the evolving needs of the modern battlefield. HENSOLDT land based radar systems relevant to the UK’s requirements are highlighted below. These include TRML-4D, SPEXER 20003D, and TWINVIS.
TRML-4D: The Backbone of Air and Ground Surveillance: TRML-4D, a member of HENSOLDT’s C-band radar family, is a remote-controlled mobile unit designed for ground-based and ground-based air defence. Its deep and long-range surveillance capabilities make it a preferred choice for forces requiring reliable radar systems. TRML-4D’s operational success and proven track record contribute to HENSOLDT’s commitment to providing software-defined sensor systems that ensure operational advantage and flexibility for future missions. Collaboration with industry partners plays a vital role in developing a sensor suite that aligns with the dynamic requirements of the modern battlefield. The radar’s ability to switch modes without hardware modification enables it to fulfil multiple tasks, catering to diverse roles from a single platform.
TRML-4D serves as mobile air surveillance and fire control radar for effective ground-based air defence – which is currently battle-proven in Ukraine. It classifies targets automatically (e.g. Fighter Aircraft, Helicopter etc.) with a typical confirmed track for a fighter at a minimum of 120km and a missile at 60km. The instrumented range is 250km to a height of 40km. Integrated IFF is also included.
In Ukraine, TRML-4D is deployed together with a Tactical Operation Centre (TOC) and multiple missile launchers to form a tactically operational unit catering for the protection of high value targets as part of IRIS-T SLM. Always looking to provide a positive operationally effective presence, HENSOLDT chose C-BAND as the operating frequency ensuring we stay true to the need to provide best in class when it comes to ensuring Missiles are guided with a greater relevance placed on accuracy. Also, HENSOLDT implemented AESA based cued track functionalities to achieve an engagement quality of tracks in shortest time as well as to reliably detect and track hostile cruise missiles.
Twinvis – Passive Radar for Covert Surveillance and Gap Filling: HENSOLDT’s Twinvis is a passive radar that utilises existing electromagnetic signals from broadcast and TV transmitters, evaluating their echoes when reflected by objects. This covert surveillance solution remains invisible, immune to jamming, and serves various applications, including “seeing without being seen” scenarios, gap filling, and detecting non-emitting targets. Twinvis offers sensor fusion capabilities with active radars and sensor clusters, extending coverage and accuracy. Its usability without approval by authorities further enhances its operational value.
TwinSens – Combining Active and Passive Radar for Enhanced Air Defence: HENSOLDT’s TwinSens solution combines the TRML-4D active radar system with the Twinvis passive radar, offering unique functionalities and operational advantages. By exchanging sensor data and utilising common control, TwinSens provides an air picture without RF transmissions, minimising the risk of detection by enemy forces. This radar solution demonstrates increased resistance to modern jammers and improves situational awareness, even for targets with a small radar cross-section (RCS). The integration of two HENSOLDT systems enhances the overall performance and effectiveness of air defence systems.
SPEXER 20003D – Evolving Battlefield Surveillance with Advanced Technology: Originally developed as a 2D radar in 2006 as a battlefield surveillance radar, SPEXER 2000 has evolved into SPEXER 20003D, embracing Advanced Electronic Scanned Array (AESA) capabilities in 2020. HENSOLDT’s innovative approach challenges conventional norms, providing a system that meets the demands of tomorrow’s battlefield. SPEXER 20003D offers the ability to operate on the move at speeds up to 50 km/h, automatic target classification and displaying all targets without switching between modes. Also, it features scalable antenna performance. Its versatility makes it invaluable for artillery fire support teams, aiding in defensive roles and target acquisition. Whether fixed or vehicle mounted, SPEXER 20003D ensures flexibility and situational awareness in both deep and close battlefield areas.
HENSOLDT’s ground-based radar systems, including TRML-4D, SPEXER 20003D, and TWINVIS, showcase the company’s commitment to delivering advanced capabilities for the modern battlefield. Through collaboration, innovation, and integration, HENSOLDT aims to enhance operational effectiveness, situational awareness, and survivability. With a strong focus on the UK market and close cooperation with industry partners, HENSOLDT continues to provide cutting-edge radar solutions to meet the evolving needs of defence and security sectors, ensuring the UK’s defence, security, and prosperity.
Situational Awareness for Armoured Vehicles
HENSOLDT’s SETAS – See Through Armour System: SETAS is an ITAR-free, ruggedised, day and night high performance local area observation system for any type of armoured vehicle. Through trials and evaluation as the HENSOLDT SETAS has been technically matured into its role, it has become obvious that SETAS truly enables the platform to deliver much, much more for its crew. The interfacing of existing systems with SETAS delivers immediate improvement to capabilities to that platform when working with hatches open. Alternately SETAS mitigates the severe limitations imposed on crews when operating fully closed down, under armour. In the case of an IFV maximising the crew participation in defending/fighting the platform. Any cognitive burden is minimised by simple controls, indicators and displays.
Having the SETAS CIPU onboard provides the digital enabler to connect and disconnect systems and capabilities, with ease and on demand. Truly allowing ‘systems packaging’ for any given mission. It is the SETAS CIPU, the core of the system which delivers the necessary processing power to deliver connectivity between systems as and when it is needed.
Even at this early stage in the SETAS development, from being a LSAS has now evolving into a digital multi-role/purpose interchangeable system that can be utilised across the fleet of an armoured Brigade Combat Team.
Observation of the Ukraine conflict indicates that by just having higher levels of armour protection, improved traditional crew vision through weapon sights and sensors etc that this may now not be enough to be effective in high density combat to guarantee a level of safety as it once had. As a result of this we firmly believe the current definition of what is meant by ‘protected’ should include ‘protective technology’. This means that at a system level there is protection for this ‘week’s conflict but also a technology path to upgrade against an emerging threat in the quickest time possible for next week’s action. For example, SETAS provide simple but effective UAS detection around the platform. Situational awareness of 3600 to an elevation of 75O then by fitting a fish eye camera (vital air sentry role) giving a virtually hemispherical coverage in visual and thermal above the platform. In time this may become an AI function indicating direction of threat with audible and visual alarms. AI has been demonstrated successfully using the Pearson Engineering Threat Sense to detect and recognise air disperseably land mines displayed through the SETAS Integrated Camera Modules in the visual and thermal channels.
SETAS can be configured to match the specific role and tasks of any given platform, enabling optimal performance from crew and platform sensors. While these STETAS fits includes the more traditional MBTs IFV APC we can now include the platforms of the emerging military robotic market. The sensor outputs can be displayed on the internal crew screens or the same screens can be used to visually operate the UGV or UAS. Both can be used for a multiple of tasks varying between the user’s roles, bridging, mine clearance, supporting dismounts, real time reconnaissance etc.
In a recent use case demo, SETAS was successfully connected to a multi-user meshed network, working in conjunction with ATAK software. This integration showcased the comprehensive utility of the system, enabling effective coordination and communication among various stakeholders. To achieve this feat, HENSOLDT UK collaborated with DOMO TACTICAL COMMUNICATIONS (DTC) Ltd, a technology based UK-based company, further underscoring SETAS’ adaptability and interoperability.
For the use case HENSOLDT and DTC successfully demonstrated:
- Video feed from dismounted soldier weapon feed viewed in the Foxhound
- The Foxhound video feed to dismounted soldiers via ATAK
- Both Foxhound and dismount video to an HQ location, simulated by laptop situated in the garage
- ATAK PLI data from radios and ATAK devices to Foxhound, HQ and Dismount
- The ability to take multiple feeds from IR on the “UGV”, Sniper scope and a Helmet cam, and feed them to all location
With SETAS providing exceptional situational awareness and the flexibility to integrate additional defensive measures, the platform commander gains a significant advantage in diverse operational scenarios. By demonstrating its compatibility with a multi-user meshed network through collaboration with DTC, SETAS has proven additional comprehensive utility and potential for future advancements.
The integration of SETAS onto the KMW RCH 155 Remote Controlled Howitzer delivers to this platform not only an enhanced LSAS that the user gets immeasurable benefits from but potentially a complete set of new specific capabilities to assist them deliver their mission.
As the technology continues to evolve, the versatility and effectiveness of SETAS will undoubtedly grow and play a crucial role in enhancing the capabilities of advanced military systems as they are brought into service.
Airborne ISR Radar and Related Capabilities
HENSOLDT is a leading provider of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) products, offering advanced solutions that enable defence and security forces to gather critical information, enhance situational awareness, and make informed decisions. HENSOLDT’s ISR products encompass a range of cutting-edge technologies and systems designed to meet the demanding requirements of modern defence operations.
One of HENSOLDT’s flagship ISR products is the PrecISR 1000 airborne surveillance radar. This radar is specifically designed for airborne platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft. The PrecISR 1000 provides high-resolution imaging, ground-moving target indication (GMTI), and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capabilities, allowing operators to detect and track ground targets, aircraft, small watercraft and vessels in challenging environments or adverse weather conditions. HENSOLDT’s airborne surveillance radars are highly reliable and offer long-range surveillance capabilities, making them in valuable tools for defence and security missions but also in support of humanitarian efforts and Search and Rescue operations.
The PrecISR 1000 is an advanced airborne surveillance radar developed by HENSOLDT. This radar offers several benefits that make it a valuable asset for defence and security forces:
- High-resolution imaging: The PrecISR 1000 provides high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging capabilities, allowing operators to obtain detailed images of the operational environment. This enables the identification of targets, terrain features, and potential threats with exceptional clarity, even in challenging weather conditions or low visibility situations.
- Ground-moving target indication (GMTI): The PrecISR 1000 is equipped with GMTI capabilities, which enable it to detect and track moving targets on the ground. This is particularly useful for monitoring the movement of vehicles, individuals, or other mobile targets, providing valuable situational awareness and enabling timely responses.
- Wide-area surveillance: With its long-range capabilities, the PrecISR 1000 can conduct wide-area surveillance, covering a large expanse of territory in a single pass. This enables operators to monitor vast regions efficiently and detect activities or anomalies across a broad area, enhancing overall situational awareness.
- Multi-mode operation: The PrecISR 1000 offers multi-mode operation, allowing operators to switch between different radar modes to adapt to specific mission requirements. This flexibility enables the radar to perform various tasks, such as surveillance, reconnaissance, target tracking, and mapping, making it a versatile tool for different operational scenarios.
- Compact and lightweight: The PrecISR 1000 is designed to be compact and lightweight, making it suitable for integration into a wide range of airborne platforms, including UAVs, helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft. Its small form factor ensures minimal impact on the overall weight and balance of the host platform, enabling increased mission flexibility and endurance.
- Rapid and accurate target detection: The PrecISR 1000 features advanced signal processing algorithms and high-performance hardware, enabling rapid and accurate target detection. This enables operators to quickly identify and track potential threats, providing real-time information for decision-making and mission planning.
- Enhanced survivability: The PrecISR 1000’s long-range capabilities and high-resolution imaging allow operators to maintain standoff distances from potential threats, reducing the risk to the host platform and personnel. It enables operators to gather critical intelligence from a safe distance, enhancing overall mission effectiveness and survivability.
In summary, the PrecISR 1000 airborne radar offers high-resolution imaging, GMTI capabilities, wide-area surveillance, multi-mode operation, compactness, rapid target detection, and enhanced survivability. These benefits make it a powerful tool for defence and security forces, providing them with comprehensive situational awareness, accurate intelligence, and the ability to respond effectively to potential threats.
HENSOLDT also offers a range of electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensors that provide day and night surveillance capabilities. These sensors are designed to capture high-resolution images and videos, detect and track targets, and provide actionable intelligence to operators. HENSOLDT’s EO/IR sensors are lightweight, compact, and highly versatile, making them suitable for integration into various platforms such as aircraft, UAVs, ground vehicles, and naval vessels. These sensors play a crucial role in enhancing situational awareness, identifying threats, and supporting decision-making processes in defence operations.
An example of the EO/IR portfolio is the ARGOS-II Electro-Optic System. This can be integrated onto tactical UAVs, helicopters and medium sized aeroplanes (i.e. light twin to small turboprop/jet) to perform law enforcement, border surveillance, coastguard, search & rescue and military ISR missions. The ARGOS-II features HD-resolution daylight spotter, wide field-of-view and continuous zoom cameras, with options for near (NIR), shortwave (SWIR) and thermal imagers. ARGOS-II can also be configured with target trackers, laser rangefinders, illuminators and target designators, depending on mission requirements.
In addition to radar and EO/IR sensors, HENSOLDT provides electronic warfare (EW) systems that detect, identify, and counter potential threats. These EW systems are designed to detect and analyse radar signals, communications signals, and other electronic emissions, allowing defence forces to gain a comprehensive understanding of the electronic battlefield. HENSOLDT’s EW systems provide real-time situational awareness and can disrupt or deceive adversary systems, enhancing the survivability and effectiveness of defence operations.
Furthermore, HENSOLDT offers advanced command and control systems that integrate and manage data from various ISR sensors and platforms. These systems provide operators and commanders with a comprehensive and real-time picture of the operational environment, enabling them to make informed decisions and coordinate actions effectively. HENSOLDT’s command and control systems are user-friendly, customisable, and scalable, ensuring seamless integration into existing defence architectures and workflows.
In summary, HENSOLDT’s ISR products encompass a wide range of advanced technologies and systems that empower defence and security forces with comprehensive situational awareness and actionable intelligence. From airborne surveillance radars to EO/IR sensors, electronic warfare systems, and command and control solutions, HENSOLDT’s ISR products are designed to meet the diverse and evolving needs of modern defence operations. By providing accurate and timely information, HENSOLDT enables allies to stay ahead of adversaries, make informed decisions, and ensure the success of their missions.
Aircraft Self-Protection Capabilities
In today’s increasingly complex and challenging military landscape, the need for adaptable and cutting-edge defence systems is paramount. As technology advances, so do the threats faced by military forces. It is crucial to equip our defence systems with the latest innovations to ensure the safety of operators and the effectiveness of military operations.
One such innovation is the HENSOLDT Airborne Missile Protection System (AMPS). Developed by HENSOLDT, a leading provider of sensor solutions for defence and security applications, this system is designed to enhance the survivability of military airborne platforms, including aircraft, helicopters, and the latest generation of unmanned aircraft.
AMPS integrates state-of-the-art sensors and countermeasures to create a comprehensive and integrated defence system. Its primary objective is to detect, identify, track, and neutralise threats, thereby minimising risk to military assets and personnel.
At the core of the system lies its advanced modular sensor suite comprising a Missile Warning System (MWS), Laser Warning System (LWS) and Radar Warning System (RWS) integrated with a Counter Measure Dispenser System (CMDS). The AMPS capability can be enhanced with latest technology Missile Approach Confirmation Sensors (MACS) and Directed Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM). By combining these sensors, real-time situational awareness is achieved, allowing the platform to accurately detect and classify threats. The data collected by these sensors enables the system to evaluate the level of threat and automatically activate countermeasures.
The HENSOLDT AMPS has already gained global recognition and trust from numerous military forces. Its robust and reliable performance has proven highly effective in protecting military platforms from various threats, including missile attacks, radar-guided threats, and laser-based weapons.
AMPS can be further enhanced with the HENSOLDT Kalaetron system. Using the same radar warning receiver antennas, Kalaetron can geo-locate emitters, such as mobile missile launch platforms and relay information to other coalition assets through tactical datalinks. Kalaetron also provides an electronic attack capability using deception jamming techniques against multiple victim radars simultaneously.
Moreover, HENSOLDT is committed to continuously investing in research and development, ensuring they remain at the forefront of technology. The company collaborates with multiple defence forces and institutions to improve and enhance the capabilities of the system, providing even greater protection to military platforms.
In conclusion, the HENSOLDT Airborne Missile Protection System represents a significant advancement in military defence technology. With its advanced sensors and integrated countermeasures, this system guarantees the safety and survivability of military platforms, even in the most hostile environments. As threats evolve, HENSOLDT stands as a reliable and essential partner in safeguarding the success of military operations.
Sensors & Mission Systems Capabilities for Naval Platforms
In the naval domain, HENSOLDT has a long pedigree in Surveillance Radar, Navigation Radar, IFF and Optronic sensors, as well as EW, self-protection and Integrated Navigation Bridge Systems. In more recent times, through its acquisition of French defence and security business NEXEYA in 2019, HENSOLDT added the LYNCEA command and control system and a degaussing capability to its extensive naval portfolio.
Drawing exclusively on its in-house portfolio, HENSOLDT is now uniquely positioned to configure a comprehensive and cost-effective integrated mission system solution for naval platforms ranging in complexity from patrol vessels and auxiliaries through to fighting ships such as corvettes and general purpose frigates. Two elements of HENSOLDT’s mission system portfolio, both ideally suited to UK requirements, are highlighted below:
Quadome Surveillance Radar: Quadome is a dual-mode, multi-mission naval surveillance radar for air and surface surveillance, with a second to none price-performance ratio. Quadome provides naval forces and maritime security authorities with unprecedented situational awareness and extremely short reaction times to developing threats.
Designed with affordability in mind, Quadome detects, tracks, classifies and prioritises air and surface targets in three dimensions at a price point that makes it a viable option for vessels that may otherwise have only been fitted with a 2D surface target detection capability.
Launched at DSEI in 2021, Quadome features state of the art technology and is software defined, thus being a future proof solution with an extended operational lifetime. Quadome builds on the reputation and track record of HENSOLDT’s naval tactical radar family, of which over 100 units have been delivered over a 25 year timespan. The use of C-Band allows vessels to gain many of the benefits associated with higher (X-Band) and lower (S-Band) frequencies, in one cost effective sensor.
Quadome features and integrated IFF Interrogator, which is an initial benefit in the UK context, as HENSOLDT Mode 5 IFF is the standard fit for Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary platforms.
Kelvin Hughes Integrated Navigation Bridge System: HENSOLDT UK has been providing Kelvin Hughes Integrated Navigation Bridge Systems (INBS) for many years. In addition to multiple international reference programmes, its UK designed and manufactured systems are in service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, onboard the UK’s Tide Class fleet tankers.
Kelvin Hughes INBS enhances operator situational awareness through the removal of duplicated information and hardware, while still retaining the system redundancy required. Concise up to date information is provided through the Multifunction Display (MFD) views and overlay facilities which are designed to present a turnkey, uniform and consistent interface for the system operators and maintainers. MFDs provide configurable access to all critical applications such as Radar, WECDIS, Tactical Display, Conning, Bridge Alarm Management and a host of other information, whilst maintaining the ability to view external systems – all from a central user focused MFD console.
All external applications are connected via secure gateways, meaning failure of external equipment cannot spread across the critical navigation network. Kelvin Hughes MFDs incorporate a space saving, minimalistic design, which reduces the installation cost to operators, providing exceptional reliability, and allows for simple retrofit solutions to be offered to all vessels. User centric design Kelvin Hughes’ patented 3-button operation allows for unparalleled simplicity of operation. Extensive feedback from military and commercial customers has resulted in an immediately recognisable user interface that provides the operator all the information required on demand, with minimal effort. The system is designed to facilitate Bridge Resource Management (BRM) procedures. The latest addition to this is the inclusion of a common track label across all MFDs, which allows each operator to talk about a common target number. This ensures that there is no misunderstanding when discussing targets.
In recent times, the UK content of HENSOLDT’s naval portfolio has been increased through the addition of its SharpEye MK11 IFF Combined Antenna System. This compact unit, designed and manufactured in Enfield, combines Kelvin Hughes proven SharpEye navigation radar technology and turning mechanism expertise with an IFF antenna sourced from HENSOLDT in Germany. The unit saves valuable space by integrating two separate antennas into one compact assembly, and is therefore an attractive solution for smaller vessels where mast space is at a premium.
The decision to develop and manufacture the SharpEye MK11 IFF Combined Antenna System at its Enfield facility is further evidence of HENSOLDT’s confidence in the UK and of its strategic importance to the business going forward.
Following its strategic decision to invest in and develop a UK industrial footprint, HENSOLDT will implement its plans for growth over the coming months, utilising its Enfield and Slinfold facilities to the full. In addition to Germany and France, the UK is now rightly considered a ‘Home Country’ by HENSOLDT’s senior management team, with inward investment set to grow in line with its expanding list of prospects, including domestic opportunities and exports from the UK.