RADAR, NIGHT VISION AND SURVEILLANCE UPDATE
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15 May 14. BAE Systems’ SAMPSON Multi Function Radar has successfully detected and tracked ballistic missile targets during a US Ballistic Missile Defence System Operational Test at the US’ Pacific Reagan Test Site. The test, which was on Type 45 Destroyer HMS Daring, formed part of her global deployment and marks a significant step in the development of Ballistic Missile target tracking. HMS Daring’s participation explored the Type 45’s potential in roles of both Tactical (short range) and Theatre (medium range) Ballistic Missile Defence. The tests were organised by the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and build upon a key established relationship between the UK and the US. The BAE Systems SAMPSON Multi Function Radar (MFR) is the surveillance and fire control radar component of the Sea Viper Air Defence System. It can detect all types of targets out to a distance of 400 km and is capable of tracking hundreds of targets at any one time. During the trial, which forms part of The Type 45 Science and Technology programme (TSAT) the ship was positioned towards launch points, the objective of the trials was the detection and track of two Medium Range Ballistic Missiles class targets. Tests resulted in the radar successfully tracking the two targets to intercept and successful collection of high-fidelity data, exceeding all expectations. TSAT was funded from the MOD’s Chief Scientific Adviser’s Science and Technology (S&T) Programme, and was led by the UK’s Missile Defence Centre (MDC), in close partnership with BAE Systems and the Royal Navy.
Les Gregory, Product and Training Services Director, BAE Systems Maritime Services said: “It is always pleasing after all the experimentation, modelling and prediction to conduct a trial on this scale to demonstrate, beyond all doubt, that this capability beats all expectations. We look forward to continuing to work with the Missile Defence Centre in the future to explore these capabilities further.”
Mr Simon Pavitt, Director of the UK Missile Defence Centre, stated: “It was an honour to be able to work with such a capable team on this exciting programme. The constraints we were working under in terms of time and resource were considerable and we have succeeded. This work has raised the profile of the Ballistic Missile Defence potential, inherent within the Type 45, and will support an ongoing Missile Defence Centre programme to further explore key issues”
The TSAT programme implemented a number of software and firmware modifications to the SAMPSON radar and the broader Sea Viper command and control to enable a realistic ballistic missile target to be detected and tracked. A team of specialist BAE Systems and Government engineers and scientists were deployed to HMS Daring in support of the trial. The UK Missile Defence Centre, along with industry partners, continues to explore the potential of the Type 45 Destroyers in order to provide robust advice to MOD Decision makers in the coming years.
08 May 14. Brazilian Air Force fires weapons locally at night for first time. Brazil’s helicopter squadron has deployed weapons at night for the first time using night vision goggles in Mi-35M attack helicopters (Brazilian designation AH-2 Sabre do Esquadrão). This marks the first time the 2nd Squadron of the 8th Aviation Group has launched the missiles in Brazil. Previously, these training exercises for Brazilian pilots were held in Russia, which manufactures the Mi-35M. The manoeuvres, held between 14 April and 7 May during Exercise ‘Zarabatana V’ at the Brigadeiro Veloso Proving Ground in Serra do Cachimbo in Para, fired weapons at targets at different points on the shooting range. According to the squadron commander, Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Gibin Duarte, the night time use of armed AH-2 Sabre