HENSOLDT UK to Equip Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ships

(Image credit: HENSOLDT UK)

Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT UK has been selected by Navantia UK to provide key systems to the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s (RFA) three new Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships. The new vessels will incorporate Quadome Naval 3D Air and Surface Surveillance Radar, Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems and Kelvin Hughes Integrated Navigation Bridge Systems (INBS).

The FSS ships will play a crucial role in supporting the replenishment operations of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

HENSOLDT will supply its new-generation Quadome 3D Air and Surface Surveillance radar, which features the latest software-defined active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology, offering a future-proof solution with an extended operational lifetime. It offers an unparalleled level of price versus operational performance—achieving levels of small target detection, volume tracking and mission systems interaction, previously only available with more expensive radar systems.

Its operational advantages include simultaneous 3D Air and Surface Surveillance with multiple specialist modes of operation. Quadome is easy to operate and maintain, reducing the operator manning, training, and skills burden.

The Quadome radar includes an integrated IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) antenna and will integrate into the HENSOLDT MSSR 2000 IFF interrogator, already deployed for the UK Royal Navy (RN) and RFA. A comprehensive ATM display solution is also included as part of this contract award.

The north London-based company will also supply Kelvin Hughes INBS including SharpEye naval navigation radars and multifunction displays. The INBS can be customized to meet specific operational and technical needs (e.g., redundancy and security options) with a seamless open interface to other ship systems. Multifunction displays simplify access to navigation tasks, including radar, charts, helicopter control and Conning Display.

The Kelvin Hughes INBS and SharpEye radars are already operational onboard the RFA Tide Class tankers and other RFA ships. This means that training, spares and support of the systems can be optimized across the RFA fleet, minimizing through-life costs for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and maximizing crew flexibility across the fleet for the RFA. HENSOLDT UK will design, construct, test and provide lifelong support for the INBS from its headquarters in Enfield, UK.

Both contracts will result in the creation of at least 50 highly skilled new UK jobs as well as securing around 150 existing jobs within the company and its UK supply chain. In addition, as a result of these contracts HENSOLDT will be investing over £1 million into the Enfield factory and test facilities in order to create a new European support hub for Quadome radars.

Peter Dillon, Managing Director of HENSOLDT UK said: “These contracts support our plans for significant new investment in our UK manufacturing and support facility. We are set to establish a new Quadome radar support and test facility at our Enfield factory, utilizing UK supply chain support. This will provide local maintenance, repair and support services to Navantia and the UK RFA, while also creating new employment opportunities in the area.

“We are proud to be working with Navantia UK to deliver this world-class capability to the RFA, and by extension the RN. This signals HENSOLDT’s entry into the UK’s naval Air Surveillance market and re-affirms our position as an Integrated Bridge Systems provider to the fleet.”

Sir Alan Massey KCB CBE, non-Executive Chairman, Navantia UK, added: “Navantia UK and Team Resolute are proud to partner with HENSOLDT UK in order to equip the FSS vessels with top class surveillance and navigation systems. This contract is an important step forward in the progression of the program, as well as a testament to our commitment to promote highly skilled jobs and prosperity across the UK.”

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