Saab demonstrates Giraffe radar's ability to detect unmanned platforms


Giraffe radar

Saab has demonstrated an improved capability of its Giraffe agile multi-beam (AMB) radar system to detect low, slow and small targets during a UK Government sponsored trial over the ranges at West Freugh, in Scotland.

Dubbed Bristow 15, the trial evaluated the 'enhanced low, slow and small' (ELSS) function,which enables the radar to undertake dedicated counter-unmanned air systems (UAS) operations, while performing its full suite of regular air surveillance functions.

More than 100 UAS sorties were flown against the radar in multiple launches of up to six vehicles at a time over the six-day trial.

The radar is said to have detected, classified, and tracked low, slow and small UAS vehicles flying increasingly complex tactical profiles despite hundreds of birds and a demanding background of sea and ground clutter, while offering full, conventional air surveillance in its regular modes.

During the Bristow 15 trials, targets were claimed to have had a radar cross section as small as 0.001m².

The ELSS function can automatically and accurately find and classify low, slow and small targets, as slow and small as the quadcopter UAS vehicles typically flown by hobbyists.

"The radar is said to have detected, classified, and tracked low, slow and small UAS vehicles flying increasingly complex tactical profiles."

Saab Surface Radar Solutions business unit head Anders Linder said: "Saab now offers ELSS as part of the Giraffe capability range.

"This gives a unique performance range from small slow UAVs, to rockets and mortars, to more traditional air targets, but all at the same time."

The function can be implemented on all Saab Giraffe radars, providing them a simultaneous capability to detect and classify all kinds of air vehicles from ballistic missiles to the very small UAS.

Giraffe AMB is a family of land and naval two or three-dimensional G / H-band passive electronically scanned array radars, and can classify and track fixed wing, helicopter, surface, jammer, and ballistic targets, while providing coastal surveillance.


Image: The ELSS function enables the Giraffe radar to undertake dedicated counter-UAS operations. Photo: Copyright Saab AB.