Cambridge Pixel will be supplying its latest generation of SPx radar processing and display software to BAE Systems for the visualisation of primary and IFF video onboard the Type 26 Frigates Combat Management System.

In terms of their surveillance and sensor capabilities, each Type 26 will be fitted with the BAE Type 997 Artisan 3D air and surface surveillance radar, solid state X and S band navigation radars and a long range IFF interrogator, as well as electro-optical and infrared systems.

According to the firm:

“Cambridge Pixel will be supplying its latest generation of SPx radar processing and display software to BAE Systems for the visualisation of primary and IFF video onboard the Combat Management System (CMS) of the new ships. Cambridge Pixel’s SPx radar display software will be integrated into the CMS to receive and display primary and IFF video, with options to combine multiple videos from the two navigation radars on the ship, as well as support per-console combination of different radars. This provides a high degree of flexibility to configure each display with just the relevant information for the operational role of the display.

Cambridge Pixel’s SPx software will also be provided for server-side radar processing and network distribution, delivering encoded radar video into the virtualised client displays. Within each client, radar information can be combined with map and tactical data to form a complete situational awareness picture. Each client is able to combine different radar layers into a desired picture with track overlays, allowing just the essential information to be presented for each situation.”

Steve Carter, Combat System Equipment Programme Delivery Director at BAE Systems, was quoted as saying:

“The Cambridge Pixel software delivers considerable flexibility in the way radar information can be processed and distributed around the ship.  It supports the Type 26 Combat System architecture, reduces cost compared to legacy designs and, when integrated with the Combat System allows situational awareness to be presented to the command team where and when its needed.”

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Ian M
Ian M
6 days ago

Clever stuff!

Pete
Pete
6 days ago

No relation to Cambridge Analytica I hope. Would be seeing things that aren’t really there 🤔 😅

Lusty
Lusty
6 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Or Cambridge Audio! We’d be hearing all manner of noises…

barry white
barry white
6 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Being Cambridge with the uni students there the woke brigade will moan about the nasty wepons we have

Locking Nut
Locking Nut
4 days ago
Reply to  Pete

More likely to be related to that other well-known Cambridge firm, ARM.😉

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 days ago
Pete
Pete
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

So disappointing but not very surprising. Sub par kill capability today, to be cut tomorrow, made palatable by promise of contemporary kit next week that then gets cut on promise of yet to be designed star wars stuff next month.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel,

Yeh just seen that. Looks like the RN will gap AShM capability for at least 5 years as the SPEAR 3 integration on to the F35 has been pushed back 4 more years to 2028!

So the RN will have Martlet and Sea Venom missiles on its Wildcats as the only AShM capability…

The effects of SDSR 2010 are still apparently rippling through our capabilities.

Cheers CR

Deep32
Deep32
6 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi @CR,

I dont think that SDSR 2010 has anything to do with SP3 integration being pushed back 4 years. Probably more to do with the fact that Blk 4 is some 2-3 years late, then we have to purchase our airframes, wait for them to arrive before we can begin integration work with SP3.

Not a total surprise, although the decision to gap I-SSGW is a surprise!! Might well ultimately be the correct decision, but its not without significant risk I imagine.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
6 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Apparently there is a degree of truth that Dr Liam Fox’ confusion around which F-35 variant to buy (F-35B or F-35C), that ended up costing us £150m because of his sheer incompetence may have impacted the scheduling of some of the UK weapons in the integration efforts…

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Not ideal, but hardly surprising!

Meirion x
Meirion x
6 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The existing Harpoon ASM could be upgraded in the interim, with a new electronics package on existing missiles with improved software etc?

Last edited 6 days ago by Meirion x
Meirion x
Meirion x
5 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I very much agree!

Frank62
Frank62
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Maybe MOD are hoping enemies will die laughing at our folly sabotaging our own offensive capoability? Disgraceful. Treason I call it.

RobW
RobW
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

It somewhat focuses on the negatives as it seems we will move toward an all MK41 equipped fleet with both hypersonic weapons and long range stealth missiles through FCASW, or possibly American solutions if that doesn’t work out. Obviously everyone, the 1SL and Mr Quin included, would like it to happen sooner but that isn’t realistic given the program is in its infancy. I-SSGW wouldn’t solve the biggest threats anyway as it wouldn’t be hypersonic or particularly stealthy (unless we immediately went for LRASM which costs a fortune). Not brilliant admittedly but there is cause for optimism. I would also… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I know they are old but surely would be better to keep the harpoons fitted? better to have something to chuck at an emeny and you never know if you lob 4 at him simutaneously 1 might do damage enough for you survive / exit area.

RobW
RobW
6 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

or hit a cruise liner by mistake……..

Steve M
Steve M
6 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Really ! you think cruise ship would anywhere in area if tensions high enough to even have chance of hostilities? hell they don’t sail anywhere if chance of 3 foot waves can’t make old dear queezy

RobW
RobW
6 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

I was exaggerating to make a point. Harpoon has been removed from many USN ships as it is deemed to be obsolete. It isn’t a weapon you can fire with any merchant or civilian shipping anywhere near.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer to keep it and upgrade until the FCASW is ready.

expat
expat
6 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Just to point a couple or airlines have flow to close to hot spots with pretty bad results. So not beyond the realm of possibility.

RobW
RobW
6 days ago
Reply to  expat

and unlike our Russian friends we are unlikely to deny it until we are blue in the face. It would be a dilemma for a Captain, do they fire Harpoon knowing there are civvy ships around or not? Probably the latter and use everything at their disposal to evade incoming projectiles.

Steve M
Steve M
6 days ago
Reply to  RobW

i would like to hope that the guys & gals can distinguish between are Aircraft Carrier and the Queen Mary / Carnival of the ?? If not by size and numerous escorts around carrier the fact that the Cruise Ship would probably be emiiting all types of emmissions where as carrier would be black hole electronically during hostilities?

RobW
RobW
6 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

It isn’t the guys and girls that’s the problem, its the fire and forget nature of Harpoon. Fire that thing off and hope it hits what you intended. It would probably would most of the time, but there is a reason it is considered obsolete (the USN certainly thinks so as it has been removed from many ABs).

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Its only fitted to the AB Flight 1 and the remaining Ticos . It has never been fitted to AB Flight 2 or 3 because they now have a flight deck and hangar where the Flight 1 don’t have the Hangar just the flight deck. The extra room on the quarter deck meant Flight 1 had room for Harpoon. Its not a well publicised point that the USN was also low on the number of ASMs it had on surface units. Only now with Block 5 Tomahawk are they getting VLS ASMs back into the fleet at around 1.5 mil… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The latest news I can find on the FC/ASW programme is that the concept phase was due to finish in July this year, with £95m spent on the programme todate (UK and French). Ben Wallace was due to meet with his French counterpart in September and FCASW assessment phase was high on the agenda. Unfortunately that meeting was postponed in the fall out from the Australian submarine deal. As far as I can determine no new date has been set for the meeting. However, I would be very surprised if lower level discussions / contacts were not on-going and I… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Much appreciated CR, It’s a pity we cannot partner with the USA, Japan and Australia as examples going forward on this project.

Brexit issues will no doubt muddy the waters further as you say and Aukus hasn’t helped much either!

https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2021/09/21/decisions-on-new-british-french-cruise-missile-are-left-hanging-after-submarine-row/

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I posted this in another thread, MBDA is building some very useful weapons and not too far off I hope. I wonder if Project Vixen will benefit from this? “And for Tempest, clearly, this will be the way forwards! “The challenge has been to build mirrors which will not be destroyed by a laser beam which is designed to punch holes in hostile vessels or drones miles away. The beam fired by Dragonfire will be far more powerful than a DIRCM, which need only dazzle not destroy. MBDA has not released data on the laser’s performance, but officials on the… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by Nigel Collins
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Laser will be able to hit targets at around the same range as CIWS. Ok they will have a better magazine depth but they are not going to be Star Wars turbo lasers anytime soon.
Physics is the limiting factor and current systems will be OK for 3-4 Km on slow movers.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

So one of the main problems is being partnered with the French? When will we learn not to go into defence partnerships with them? They will simply abandon the programme at the very last second taking intellectual property and technology with them to then develop tgeir own kit to sell abroad.
Eurofighter becomes Rafale.

Meirion x
Meirion x
6 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Because of MBDA, it is a European company, built out of mergers of European companies including British.
Unfortunately MBDA would Not had existed if the UK had not been in EEC/EU.

simon
simon
5 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Not sure what the EU had to do with it. It was a case of a number of European defence company reiliseing they were all fighting for parts of the same budget and deciding it was consolidate or die

Last edited 5 days ago by simon
Sonik
Sonik
5 days ago
Reply to  simon

Agree, MDBA was largely created commercially through mergers and JV, governments & EU had little to do with it. Which is probably why it’s so successful.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

MBDA (along with others) has a very, very good partnership with the Complex Weapons Group in Abbey Wood. Its one of the few things that shines in the place that is Shabby Wood.

Things like Ceptor, Venom, ASRAMM, Meteor and Martlett are all a result of the Complex Weapons Group doing excellent work with its industrial partners.
Other project groups could do a lot worse than taking a good look at how Complex Weapons do their stuff.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
5 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi Gunbuster,

Couldn’t agree more. The Complex Weapons Group was just getting going when I was still at Farnborough many years ago now. Stability and good relationships are paying off. It is one area that is getting really good results. Helped I think by a customer focus at MBDA.

I have briefly worked with MBDA in that past and was very impressed by their can do approach.

Lets hope no one tries to ‘fix’ what isn’t broken.

Cheers CR

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

It is sadly the right decision. £250 milllion for five sets of a weapon with short-range and limited land attack capability that can only be delivered in 2026-7. They were intended for the GP Type 23s, but two are leaving service early anyway and these non-hypersonic systems will be obsolete by the mid-2030s. Better use the money for Mk 41s for Type 31. We can always buy a weapon to fit in the VLS as a UOR if urgently needed before FCASW arrives.

Last edited 6 days ago by James Fennell
RobW
RobW
6 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Possibly LRASM, although that hasn’t been integrated onto USN ships yet, but has been tested from Mk41 VLS a few times.

Meirion x
Meirion x
5 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Too expensive, at about $3m a pop.

RobW
RobW
5 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Absolutely, was just thinking what we could get if we really needed it. Most likely something cheaper I’d imagine.

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago
Reply to  RobW

300km range, subsonic. Better to go for next gen hypersonics at price.

Pete
Pete
6 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Plenty of hulls they can be bolted onto besides the 5 x GPs. ..and the systems being considered are not obsolete. The delay in SP3 must itself surely be a reason to proceed with the interim solution and I don’t believe it would have taken 6 years to secure that interim solution. That smacks of a cheap throw away statement to justify saving the equivalent cost of 2 x OPV’s while bringing significant risk to the fleet.

Such a fundamental capability gap is simply gross negligence.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I agree.

That is why 1SL kept saying things are moving very quickly to the Select Committee.

Having Mk41 VLS on T26 (for sure as it is ordered) and T31 makes a lot of sense for commonality.

A VLS is also, inherently, better protected than deck mount. I know the Exocet box launchers had some degree of armour in amongst all the fibreglass but still it is a totally different proposition and you do risk a small precision incoming weapon being turned into a bigger weapon on deck!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago

RATTAM!

Then again a small shaped charge will cut through a ships hull and cause issues no matter what.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
5 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Hi James, you’d think they need to get a move on with the T26 and T31 coming off the lines mid-end this decade. I wonder if they thought about a creating “jumbo sized brimstone” type AShM? If they’re not going for the interim why not just get a good longish range subsonic AShM for the 8 x T23 and 6 x T45s, 14 sets? Would current RN ships survive a pro-longed deployment and high level conflict with 4.5” gunnery, SAMs and helo’s alone!? Why can’t they make some effort to bring the FC/ASW forward 3-5 years? Would the RN purchase… Read more »

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Very disappointing, but I see the logic in the decision, honestly we need to shorten our design and procurement times, 8 years with no long-range/heavy anti-ship capability is shameful, in that space of time our peer adversaries will have launched several more ships and equipped them with long-range supersonic/ hypersonic anti-ship missiles.

Last edited 6 days ago by Bringer of Facts
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 days ago

Agreed.

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago

Only way is to turn it into an opportunity to miss a generation (current production missiles are subsonic, 180-400km range) and invest heavy to get long ranged hypersonics as fast as possible. That will put us on the front foot again, no longer playing catch-up.

AlexS
AlexS
6 days ago

Only an Artisan radar…

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

On the bright side, It doesn’t say fitted for but not with! Yet 😀

Glasgow.jpg
Jonathan
Jonathan
6 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Fitted for but not with a keel, hull, superstructure, screws, rudder and crew.

RobW
RobW
6 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Bearing in mind it isn’t a destroyer, is Artisan not enough for its role? It appears the RN thinks so.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
6 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Artisan is really good. The back end is borderline brilliant…and there is an antenna upgrade coming in 2028…

RobW
RobW
6 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

ssshhh don’t say something positive, it isn’t welcome here 😂

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  RobW

This time it’s the fault of Navy Lookout.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Yep it really is good.
Compared to the 996 that the RN replaced, which was a good set, its a whole different league of capability.
Its also pretty light for being that high up.
It doesnt need to illuminate a target or provide midcourse missile updates from itself.
Surface search, air search and missile detection mode are all very good.

here are some pics of Montrose changing her turning unit (Not the aerial that was OK) a few weeks ago. Its not that easy to do fixed array plates or Sampson.
Amazing what you can see from my office!

20210822_144018.jpg
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

and another

20210822_141025.jpg
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

and another

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

another

20210822_144029.jpg
ETH
ETH
5 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

What makes you say that?

AlexS
AlexS
6 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Bearing in mind it isn’t a destroyer, is Artisan not enough for its role? It appears the RN thinks so.

It is not even an AESA radar.
Everyone is arming ships of this size with AAW, only RN makes a 8000t ship so lightly armed but still costs more than 1 billion £…

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Italian FREMM : AESA
Italian PPA : AESA
French FDI : AESA
Japanese Mogami : AESA

RobW
RobW
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

It isn’t meant to be an AAW destroyer, it’s an ASW frigate and has Ceptor for defence. It’s cost is because of everything that goes into making it quiet, plus the flexibility of the mission bay. It simply doesn’t need a radar like Sampson for its task. I’ll leave it up to others with far more knowledge than me to comment on Artisan’s capabilities. All I’m saying is that the RN think it’s up to the job. As for being lightly armed. It’s going to have mk41 vls for FCASW hypersonic and stealthy missiles, or the US equivalent. Not until… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  RobW

I did not said it needs a Sampson.

The >1 billion £ are not justifiable. Sooner or later that class ship cost will be news.

It do not compare to any ship of any navy in armament for the size..

ETH
ETH
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Why do you say it’s only a PESA?

ETH
ETH
4 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

ARTISAN is an AESA radar.

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Its a good radar. Antenna uses a mix of active mechanical and passive elctronically scanned arrays, but software-defined backend is very advanced. Can always upgrade the antenna.

Last edited 5 days ago by James Fennell
ETH
ETH
5 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Could you expand on that?

James Fennell
James Fennell
5 days ago
Reply to  ETH

A PESA array has a single tranmitter that can have its beam ‘steered’ in different directions electroncally. an AESA has mulitple tranmitters for each element of the array. By mixing mechanical sweep with electroinc beam steering you can simulate the advantages of an AESA by having both the antenna rotating to provide 2D cover and the beam steering electroincally to provide a third dimension (altitude)..

Last edited 5 days ago by James Fennell
AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

You cannot simulate the different simultaneous frequencies of an AESA, that makes an AESA much more difficult to jam.
The intrinsic reliability advantage of an AESA, if the transmitter of Artisan is damaged or have a failure the whole radar is inoperative, while an AESA have several transmitters. Depending how advanced it is the logic, you can use a part of the radar to detection and another to do ECM, do ESM and transmit data.
AESA also benefits from lower probability of interception over a PESA.

ETH
ETH
5 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I’m aware of the differences, it’s just that I wasn’t sure what you meant by a combination of a mix of active and passive arrays.

Lusty
Lusty
6 days ago

Regarding the debate about missiles, this Tweet from CommonSence Defence is worth a gander for the giggling factor alone:

https://twitter.com/DefenceSenseUK/status/1456243391038201857

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Bravo for the NFS!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 days ago

It very rare that you actually see raw radar on a screen anymore. Those days are long gone. Bridge nav radars are probably the only exception but they are on the way out as well as most nav sets now integrate into Electronic chart systems and AIS. The system track extractors pull the target info from the radar returns and then pushes that data to the command system to display it. What you see is a computer generated picture showing track data. Red for baddies…Blue for goodies, Click on a track and it will display the target data such as… Read more »