Few people on the planet know Saab’s Giraffe radar system as well as product manager Peter Andersson. He began his career working on Giraffe back in the 1980s – just 10 years after the now iconic system had been released on the market.
“I have always been interested in technology and electronic and electrical systems,” says Andersson. “When I finished studying electrical engineering at Chalmers University in Gothenburg, I started with software design for the Giraffe 75.”
While Andersson subsequently went on to work on radar systems for products including Saab’s Gripen fighter aircraft, he always maintained an affection and close connection with Giraffe. When the opportunity came up in 2010 to be involved in the development of the next generation of Giraffe radar, Andersson jumped at the chance. Over the next four years, he worked closely with a highly skilled team of engineers to develop a new-generation radar that would enhance the ability of customers to detect stealth aircraft.
“It was a team effort,” he stresses. “My role was to balance the technical side, the time schedule and the financial side. But the technical solution was achieved by the systems engineers, especially the radar expert Peter Fornmark.”
The result of the team’s hard work was Saab’s next generation of Giraffe-family radars. The latest additions to the surface-radar range include Giraffe 4A and Sea Giraffe 4A, which are multi-function radars for air defence and air surveillance with sense-and-warn and weapon-locating capabilities. The new range also includes the Giraffe 8A which is a long-range air surveillance radar.
The radars bring major advantages to customers. “If we take Giraffe 4A as an example, customers get very high performance in a very small footprint,” Andersson says. “The antenna design uses gallium nitride which enables us to get more energy out in the air from the radar in a limited antenna size. It can detect stealth targets, which are tomorrow’s threats, and it also has multi-mission capability.”
Andersson is now looking forward to continuing his association with Giraffe.
“We’ve recently started a new journey with the extended range of Giraffe solutions and I really look forward to following it through,” he says. “Having worked with Giraffe over the years, the most satisfying thing is that customers are happy with the solutions, that they work as intended and of course that our systems actually save lives.”
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