Kelvin Hughes to Supply Royal Canadian Navy with Downmast Submarine Radar
ENFIELD, U.K. — Kelvin Hughes will be supplying its SharpEye downmast submarine navigation radar in support of the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN’s) sustainment program, the company said in an April 4 release.
Two of the RCN’s Victoria-class long-range patrol submarines, currently equipped with Kelvin Hughes 1007 radar, are to be upgraded with the company’s new SharpEye system. With solid-state technology at its heart, the I-Band transceiver uses the existing bulkhead infrastructure as well as the external antenna, rotational drive and waveguide connections.
Doppler processing of the radar returns means that surface contacts can be detected earlier and at longer range. A series of electronic filters enables the system to distinguish between contacts of interest, including those with a low radar cross section, and the environmental clutter caused by adverse weather conditions.
Traditionally, submarines have only used radar for navigation in and out of port because high-power RF transmissions can compromise its ability to remain undetected. However, with its low power output — up to 300 watts as opposed to the 25 kilowatts of legacy submarine radar equipment — SharpEye can significantly reduce the probability of detection by ESM systems.
The Victoria-class submarines, acquired from the Royal Navy in the 1990s, can operate in the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic approaches to Canada and have the flexibility to undertake a wide range of missions, significantly extending the Royal Canadian Navy’s tactical and strategic capabilities.
“This upgrade for the Royal Canadian Navy is a further example of the growing interest in our SharpEye downmast submarine variant 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,” said Adrian Pilbeam, Kelvin Hughes’ vice president of Kelvin Hughes LLC.