Canadian Navy Upgrades Radars on Two Submarines

Canadian Navy Upgrades Radars on Two Submarines

A solid-state radar system is replacing the magnetron-based navigation radar systems in two Victoria-class long-range patrol submarines in the Royal Canadian navy.

The Royal Canadian navy will be upgrading the navigation radar systems in two of its Victoria-class long-range patrol submarines, replacing older model 1007 systems from Kelvin-Hughes with that company’s SharpEye downmast submarine navigation versions (see photo). The solid-state SharpEye system features an I-band transceiver that works with the existing navigation radar bulkhead infrastructure and external antenna, rotational drive system, and waveguide interconnections.

The solid-state SharpEye radar systems employ Doppler processing of radar returns for long-range detection with less transmit power than magnetron-based vacuum-electronics radar systems. For example, legacy submarine radar systems employ transmitters operating with about 25 kW power, while the solid-state SharpEye systems can illuminate targets across a long distance with 300 W or less transmit power.

The SharpEye radar system

A solid-state navigation radar system is replacing two higher-powered radar systems in a pair of long-range submarines for the Royal Canadian Navy. (Courtesy of Kelvin-Hughes LLC)

By using a series of signal filters, the radar system can differentiate between different targets, including those with relatively low radar cross section (RCS). The advanced signal processing also helps the SharpEye radar systems to detect targets surrounded by signal clutter and in adverse weather conditions.

“This upgrade for the Royal Canadian Navy is a further example of the growing interest in our SharpEye downmast submarine variant,” noted Adrian Pilbeam, vice president of Kelvin Hughes LLC, “and highlights the need for submarines to be equipped with modern high-performance radar rather than the legacy magnetron systems that many of them are still using.”

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