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IAI and Hensoldt team up to offer new radars for German air-defense frigates

Sachsen-class air defense frigate
Illustration: German Navy file photo of a Sachsen-class air defense frigate

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Germany’s Hensoldt announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement for the joint manufacturing of radar systems for ballistic missile defense.

In a first step, Hensoldt and IAI subsidiary ELTA will offer a long-range radar for the German Navy’s F124 air-defense frigates. The offered radar operates in the S-band, allowing a more precise detection of targets in space than other solutions.

Germany released an RFI last year for the replacement of Dutch-built Smart-L radars currently installed on the frigates. The new radars are expected to have a broader scope of engagement and include ballistic missile defense capability.

Hensoldt says the cooperation agreement with IAI’s ELTA group would allow it to offer the Ultra and Spectra radar family to Germany, but also other NATO customers. These radars provide enhanced search and detection capabilities of ballistic missiles and satellites at longer ranges. The Ultra and Spectra systems support all levels of air defense, ranging from medium to long and very long ranges.

“IAI sees the collaboration with Hensoldt as a significant step forward in advancing its radar operations in Europe and leveraging its technological expertise accumulated over decades in air defence and space missions,” Yoav Turgeman, IAI VP and CEO of ELTA, said.

Hensoldt is already supplying radar systems for German Navy K130 corvettes and F125 frigates. The company’s portfolio is rounded off by mobile, land and airborne systems, short-range radars and the newly developed passive radar.

“As the German champion for military sensor solutions, we will contribute our extensive technical know-how in the field of radar systems in our cooperation with IAI and are pleased to make an important contribution to the Bundeswehr’s capability expansion,” Thomas Müller, CEO of HENSOLDT, said.