The Ministry of Defence is seeking market information regarding Multi-Mode Radar (MMR) able to monitor space, conduct air surveillance in a traditional ground-based air defence role, including surveillance of small air-breathing targets and tactical ballistic missiles.

The purpose of the request for information, say the Ministry of Defence, is that because they operate many types of MMR, they are “keen to ensure knowledge of the respective MMR market is current”.

“Information is requested which provides insight into the technologies and solutions available in the next 5 years, for an integrated MMR able to provide a space domain awareness (SDA) capability, conduct air surveillance (AS) in a traditional ground-based air defence role, including surveillance of small air-breathing targets and tactical ballistic missiles (TBM). Respondents are invited to provide information and/or views on the subject, including, for example:

a) Potential technologies/solutions, available in the timeframe stated, for the provision of MMR. Their key attributes and applicability to SDA, AS and TBM including levels of technology readiness. Use of any innovative methods such as artificial intelligence or machine learning.

b) Description of SDA capabilities for low Earth orbit coverage.

c) Ability to detect and track cooperative and non-cooperative objects.

d) Approaches to mitigating the effects of wind turbines.

e) Service-life (years) and anticipated maintenance requirements.

f) Product availability, manufacturing lead times and any supply chain constraints. Goods handling, logistical and/or licence/export considerations.

g) Indicative budgetary price ranges for the various MMR solutions.”

The deadline is the 31st of May 2022.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 day ago

Geez wind turbines are going to be a serious threat I fear in detecting low flying objects coming our way, don’t think of such matters until reading something of this nature.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 day ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It has been a consideration for a couple of decades, certainly it was a consideration when I was working in defence procurement. Although it is not my field, I believe there are solutions or at least mitigations for the problem. However, there would be no point not including the issue in any request for information as you risk getting lots of irrelevant informaion that would still need to be sifted through. I would also suggest that the wind farms would be targets in need of protection and I would hope that they are designed to be resilient, i.e. the farm… Read more »

Grizzler
Grizzler
1 day ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

How the hell are we going to protect the multitude of wind farms we apparently need to ‘go green’… esp. as the majority are going to be offshore ones….we just aren’t.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
1 day ago
Reply to  Grizzler

We could bolt on some Phalanx CIWS for a laugh, lol

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 day ago
Reply to  Grizzler

A wind farm will be quite a difficult target to destroy. The turbines are large and strongly constructed plus widely didpersed with reasonably good separation. The question is. Who exactly is going to attack them and with what? Knocking out a large proportion of hjndreds of thousands of turbines would not be a subtle affair. The UKs military would respond as would NATOs as the turbines are located in uk soverign territory. I think conversely wind farms are actually quite a good form of critical power producing infrastructure just because of their size, large dispersion and just how much territory… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 day ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Hundreds or thousands of turbines. Not hundreds of thousands. I know we havent got that many…..yet.

DP
DP
23 hours ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Hi Mr Bell, isn’t the point about wind turbines to do with fact the moving blades effectively mimic a slow moving airborne ‘target’? So the RADAR processor needs to be able to discard these movements whilst at the same time interpret a genuine target on the bearing(s) between RADAR head and wind turbine i.e. drone, helicopter etc.

Dern
Dern
10 hours ago
Reply to  DP

On the plus side, a Wind Tourbine doesn’t move, so if you have a stationary radar (as you might defending the UK) and you get the wind tourbine contacts on day 1, then on day 1,234 when the Russians attack low on the horizon you’ll already know which contacts are turbines.

Jon
Jon
1 day ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Threat, target and opportunity too. They will form a increasing amount of our energy infrastructure, which will need protection. Maybe radars plonked on the top of the turbines might become a thing.

Last edited 1 day ago by Jon
Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 day ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Trails have taken place in the North Sea using radars fitted to wind farm substations. Danish airforce F16s flew through the sites at various altitudes and speeds to test the tracking.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 day ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

You can always put a small radar or picket craft on the other side of the field.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 day ago

I bet those who are looking at this will have lots of information on what is happening in Ukraine ‘on their desks’ as well. Russia’s stand off bombardment weapons do appear to work well enough to do a lot of damage to a country and disrupt ‘normal’ life – which has a huge impact on any war effort. If Boris is right and this war drags on for months then we will see an how nation’s evolve their strategies and tactics as they use up their advanced weapons. We are already seeing this with Russia reportedly switching to 1950’s vintage… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 day ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

You can’t jam or hack a dumb bomb?

But you need 100x as many as the accuracy is so, so poor.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
6 minutes ago

I thought the strategic bombers were being used to bomb the Azovstal tunnel complex.
Makes sense not to use smart bombs to shift dirt if they’re irreplaceable.

Sean
Sean
1 day ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Yes thinking has been that two modern industrialised nations won’t fight long protracted wars because they’ll expand their hi-tech weaponry faster than it can be manufactured. I heard an estimate early in the war that both Ukraine and Russia were expending between 5% and 10% of their munitions every week. At some point these will run out, especially for Russia which is being denied high-tech electronic components due to sanctions. Russia will also not want, for example, to use its entire stock of Iskanders on Ukraine, in case it has to engage against NATO at some point. IF the West… Read more »

PAUL
PAUL
1 day ago

Attack of a windfarm seems pretty expensive compared to taking out some base load gas fired stations or god forbid nuclear which are much bigger and easier to hit. In reality grid transformer stations are just as critical if not more so and would cause more disruption than a single station going offline. Wind farms are low risk when you think about it as they are distributed and one field going offline won’t take the grid with it. We need far more wind turbines to be energy independent from the middle East and spread the risk so when things like… Read more »

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
3 minutes ago
Reply to  PAUL

💯

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 day ago

If they are looking for a do it all radar. So it provides both 3D volume search as well as target tracking. Then they really need to look at something operating in the X-band (8 to 12 Ghz). The reason for this is that having a wavelength of 3.75 to 2.5cm, means it has better target resolution as well as possible identification. At these smaller frequencies material differences, panel gaps, uncovered bolt/screw heads and rivets all help with the signal return. Using synthetic aperture techniques the radar can also build up a pretty decent image of the target. But crucially… Read more »

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
1 day ago
Reply to  Daveyb

This is an interesting read on wind turbines and stealth.
https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/baseload/stealth-blades-get-turbines-under-the-radar/#gref
I like the idea of a radar on top of a pylon, not sure how practical that is, however the Sharpeye nav radars are very small and light and have a good discrimination in bad weather AND have a very small power output. It could look after low level approaches underneath the pylon field. There’s a lot of “gear” at the top of a mast though, how this would interfere with a radar perched on top would be anybodies guess?
AA

DaveyB
DaveyB
20 hours ago

Oh dear, the person who put together that article needs to do some homework! The simplest and cheapest method to see through and beyond a wind turbine farm, is to mount a radar on the other side of the farm. For the UK sea based farms, retired oil rigs would be the perfect platform for a search radar. It could be operated remotely and self powered through tidal, sun or from the wind farm. The next stage would be networking radars together to build a standard picture model. By building the model you can then tell if something new is… Read more »

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
18 hours ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I know zilch about windmill construction! It all seemed reasonable to me…
Perhaps another issue apart from the defence aspect is commercial radar interference. Ships nav systems, low flying aircraft or helicopters, that sort of thing, in which case the drive for a lower radar reflectivity makes sense.
I have stood under the shore mounted turbine in Lowestoft (Gulliver they call it) and my my, the speed those blade tips whizz by and the noise they create!
AA

Malcolm Rich
Malcolm Rich
22 hours ago

Why go for the windfarm when the critical path will be the transformers/substations where the supply chain is very limited and lead times are years. Its all about biggest effect for minimal effort and how difficult it is to replace/repair.
Lots of work was done on modelling locations of windfarms v radar installations when they were being proposed in the 90’s, say no more!

James Fennell
James Fennell
14 hours ago

First hint that we are going to get some sort of ABM / long range air defence system for the UK.