Home Europe Germany authorizes radar upgrades for F124 air defense frigates

Germany authorizes radar upgrades for F124 air defense frigates

F124 frigate radar upgrade
German Navy illustration of an F124 frigate with the new TRS-4D radar

The German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and Operation (BAAINBw) has placed an order worth approximately 220 million euros for the upgrade of radar systems on the German Navy’s F124 air defense frigates.

The upgrade will be delivered by German sensor solutions provider Hensoldt, who will work with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on the project.

In December last year, the two companies announced they entered into a strategic cooperation agreement for the joint manufacturing of radar systems for ballistic missile defense. As part of that agreement, IAI subsidiary ELTA offered its long-range radar solution for the new frigate radars.

With this contract, the F124 frigates’ radars will be refurbished to overcome obsolescence of electronics components. The order also marks the start of the development of national capabilities in the field of ballistic missile defense (BMD), thanks to the cooperation with Israel.

The three F124 class frigates entered service between 2004 and 2005 as the only ships in the German Navy capable of unit air defense. Upgrade works on the ships will begin in 2024 and should be completed by 2028.

The new TRS-4D/LR ROT radars will replace the previously used SMART-L radars from 2025. In addition, another system will be installed in the test reference and training facility at the marine technology school in Parow as early as 2023. In addition to the practical training, this will also provide the opportunity to test any system adjustments on the radar before they are installed on board.

The F124 frigate radar upgrade is not the first successful collaboration between Hensoldt and IAI. In July this year, Germany selected the duo to deliver the next generation of ballistic missile defense radars as part of the HADR NF program.