90 percent of the world's commercial transportation takes place at sea, on shipping lanes that almost exclusively run along coastlines. A significant proportion of these run through narrow straights and canals, which makes them especially vulnerable to attack. This means that monitoring and control of coastal waters are more important than ever.
A complex and multi-faceted combat environment places considerable demands on technical equipment. “When we speak to customers, we always refer to our domestic Swedish market. In order to meet the challenges posed by the Baltic Sea coastline, our equipment is designed for short reaction times, shallow waters and extremely cluttered conditions. This means it can handle even the most challenging of environments”, says Stefan Hedenstedt, Saab business unit Combat Systems and C4I Solutions.
Saab's naval portfolio covers everything from the seabed and sea surface to the sky. Saab's range of sensors, command systems, weaponry and platforms includes the surveillance radars in the Sea Giraffe family, the fire control systems Ceros200 and EOS500, a signals intelligence (SIGINT) system comprising both ESM ELINT and COMMS-ESM functionality, 9LV command system, torpedoes such as Trp45 and Trp62, anti-ship missile RBS15, and the airborne surveillance solution GlobalEye. The acquisition of Kockums also means that Saab supplies submarines and surface vessels as well as a solution for a fully integrated mast. Saab's naval offer includes the wide range of products and also ensures efficient communication between all the components included in the combat management system. These can include Saab products as well as integrated products from other companies; everything that is needed for a complete offer and for delivering a top-of-the range combat management system. 9LV has also incorporated Nato links (L11, L16 and L22), national links, and Saab's proprietary links such as Link-E, which is used to transmit data from airborne surveillance solutions like GlobalEye down to the vessel, allowing the vessel to interact with other units.
“9LV is the brain that handles all the interfaces and all interaction with operators”, explains Stefan Hedenstedt. “Our solid experience of providing fully integrated systems makes us stand out against competitors.” Each operator has their own user interface, HMI (Human Machine Interface), with all the functions and features they require in their role, and can also add functions to their interface as required. “In theory, one person could handle the entire combat management system if all the functions were added to the interface. Saab's combat management system is scalable and can therefore be integrated into everything from small combat boats to large-scale frigates”, says Stefan Hedenstedt.
One of the key components in the naval combat units is the naval radar system. Naval surveillance radar Sea Giraffe 1X is one of the latest additions to Saab’s wide-ranging Giraffe radar family. “Sea Giraffe 1X provides reliable and flexible protection in a compact lightweight format; the antenna is around one metre wide and weighs no more than 100 kilos”, says Pontus Djerf, head of Naval Product Marketing and Sales at Saab’s business unit Surface Radar Solutions. “Equivalent products offered by our competitors weigh three to four times that. The low weight means it can be placed high up on a vessel's mast structure without jeopardising the vessel's stability. This increases the range further over the horizon and gives you invaluable seconds during an attack.”
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