When it comes to naval sensors, we believe more is more

A naval warship is a powerful asset. But without the right means to detect, classify and counter today’s advanced threats, even the most powerful surface combatant will be vulnerable. To meet this challenge, Saab has developed the Sea Giraffe Multi Sensor Solution. By combining different sensors in a single solution, it provides naval forces with the ability to detect threats regardless of size, speed, shape and sophistication.

Stealth design, super- and hypersonic speed, small, slow and low observable drones, advanced rocket, artillery and mortar systems are all growing concerns for anyone operating in the naval combat environment. Why? Because most traditional sensor systems are not up to the challenge.

“Traditional systems cannot provide simultaneous medium-to-long range air surveillance and short-range air and surface surveillance in a single solution, but Saab’s Sea Giraffe Multi Sensor Solution can. It has the ability to detect and track anything from small and slow targets to hypersonic ones, and to do it simultaneously”, says Tobias Birging, Product Manager at Saab.

The solution – a different approach!

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Creating a radar system that provides simultaneous medium-to-long range air surveillance and short-range air and surface surveillance is challenging. The solution lies in the combination of two independent radars in a single, unified system.

“Having two independent radars means securing ship survival through full redundancy in the ship’s self-defence capability. By combining different frequency bands, the Sea Giraffe Multi Sensor Solution provides a unique ability to operate with optimized efficiency in all conditions, regardless of weather variations or jamming”, says Tobias Birging.

Compact power

The Sea Giraffe Multi Sensor Solution represents Saab’s new generation radar range that has evolved through decades of spiral development and is designed for simultaneous air and surface monitoring.

“These high-performing, lightweight and compact radars allow the sensors to be placed in an optimal location up the mast to achieve the best possible range and performance without compromising the operation or safety of the ship. The solution is suitable also for smaller vessels”, Tobias Birging explains.

Configurable to operational needs

Depending on operational needs and ship designs the Sea Giraffe Multi Sensor Solution can be configured as a rotating solution comprising the Sea Giraffe 4A and Sea Giraffe 1X or as a fixed face solution with the Sea Giraffe 4A Fixed Face (FF) and the Sea Giraffe 1X.

“This combination of high-performance sensors providing simultaneous medium-to-long range air surveillance and short-range air and surface surveillance in a single solution, is unique”, Tobias says.

Onboard the new Finnish corvettes

Saab delivers and integrates the combat system for the Finnish Navy’s new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes within the Squadron 2020 programme and will provide the Sea Giraffe Multi Sensor Solution, the 9LV Combat Management System and a wide range of additional systems.

Addressing the hypersonic threat

In the modern naval combat environment, naval forces may have to face threats travelling at several times the speed of sound – hypersonic missiles. Relying on traditional radars can place them in harm’s way, because traditional radar systems lack the high update rate required for detecting and tracking such threats. And when the radar finally identifies them, it is too late: leaving no time to act before the missiles reach their targets.

“In such a situation, you need a radar that is able to start tracking targets not within seconds, but within a fraction of a second. The Sea Giraffe Multi Sensor Solution has that capability because it is empowered with Saab’s Hypersonic Detection Mode”, says Tobias Birging.

Enhanced tracking capabilities

The Hypersonic Detection Mode is based on Saab’s next generation track-while-scan technology.

“The extremely quick track formation time and high update rate makes it possible to track any number of targets, including stealthy ones, in all types of conditions”, Tobias Birging explains.

The Hypersonic Detection Mode is optimized for the Sea Giraffe 4A Fixed Face (FF) configuration that belongs to Saab’s multi-functional family of S-band AESA radar systems.

Multiple functions for multiple threats

As described earlier, in addition to the hypersonic threats, the modern naval battlefield encompasses a wide range of new ones. Therefore, the Sea Giraffe radars are designed with a range of unique functionalities.

“Apart from the Hypersonic Detection Mode, it also comprises functions for ELSS drone detection and Rocket Artillery and Mortar (RAM) detection. And all functions can also be used simultaneously”, adds Tobias Birging.

Prepared and ready 

The technological evolution is an ongoing challenge. With new threats continuously advancing, naval assets previously considered safe can now be at risk. With the Sea Giraffe Multi Sensor Solution, Saab supports its customers in being prepared and ready to deploy the multi-functional advantage, today.

“Born and raised in one of the world’s most demanding maritime environments, the Sea Giraffe radar range is designed to meet any challenge in the extreme littorals”, concludes Tobias Birging.