Lightweight Radar Provides Extensive Surveillance
A lightweight ground surveillance radar that can be carried by one man but has the performance to detect people at ranges of six kilometers has been launched by the German arm of Thales. Company officials at the show said the new Lynx radar is aimed at meeting the requirements of the military as well as civil security organizations for a lightweight, mobile, high performance system.
Potential customers are already being briefed and the radar could be in series production next year said Hans Jochen Solter, the director of sensor systems strategy and business development at Thales Deutschland.
In a briefing with reporters at the show, Solter singled out Britain and France as potential customers as both had requirements to replace heavy, outdated systems. He said there were a number of European nations looking to replace old infantry-style radars.
France has already issued a request for information in the last few weeks and Thales expects this to be followed up with a tender request by early next year, said Solter.
The market for new radars in the sector was being partly driven by the focus on infantry style operations worldwide, he said.
The Lynx Ku-band sensor weighs about 12 kilograms. The full stand-alone pack including tripod, batteries, laptop computer cables and carrying harness comes to approximately 25 kilograms.
The sensor itself measures just 0.53 meters x 0.35 meters x 0.13 meters.
Solter said he expects to see Lynx appear in a raft of applications including battlefield surveillance, fire support, force protection, border and coastal surveillance, and the protection of infrastructure sites using mobile, vehicle or fixed installations.
The Thales executive said the radar was capable of detecting a pedestrian at six kilometers, a medium-sized vehicle at 12 kilometers and low-flying helicopters at 11 kilometers.
Lynx would also detect small UAVs up to a height of about 1,000 feet, he said.
The radar technology was close to the limits of performance versus weight, he said.