A derivative of SMART-L, S1850M, is operational on the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyers and new British Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.
The S1850M is produced by BAE and Thales. It is a modified version of the SMART-L radar. The S1850M is advertised as being capable of fully automatic detection, track initiation and tracking of up to 1,000 targets at a range of 400km. The system is also claimed to be highly capable of detecting stealth targets, and is able to detect and track outer atmosphere objects at short range, making it capable of forming part of a Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence system.
An even stronger version of the S1850M is under testing, which is actually an updated version of the current SMART-L radar that the Dutch Navy will call the SMART-L-EWC (Early Warning Capability) Radar. This will have a greater search radius, be capable of detecting ballistic missiles and have a tracking range of 2000 km for ballistic missile defence and 480km for air defence.
As part of the ongoing Formidable Shield exercise, an international naval exercise organised by the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet for the international organisation for the defence against ballistic missiles, a ballistic missile was launched from the Hebrides.
The Thales SMART-L Multi Mission radar in Hengelo detected the target as soon as it appeared over the horizon. The system maintained a stable track for more than 300 seconds.
Gerben Edelijn, CEO of Thales in the Netherlands said:
“This milestone proves that Thales is a world leader in radar applications for ballistic missile defence. With SMART-L MM, Thales can provide armed forces all over the world with a powerful sensor that enables the protection of nation states against the increasing threat of ballistic missiles.”
“Thales builds the SMART-L Multi Mission radar system for deployement in Naval and Ground-based environments. Four SMART-L MM radar systems will be delivered to the Royal Netherlands Navy, to be installed from 2018 onward on the four De Zeven Provinciën class frigates.
Further, Thales will deliver two SMART-L MM radar systems to the Royal Netherlands Air Force for surveillance of the Netherlands’ national air space. These systems will be installed on two towers. The SMART-L MM supports multiple simultaneous missions including Ballistic Missile Defence.”