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May 25, 2015

BAE to upgrade UK Watchman surveillance radars

BAE Systems has secured a £7m contract to upgrade four Watchman radars in a bid to enhance the UK’s surveillance and air traffic control (ATC) capabilities.

Watchman radars

BAE Systems has secured a £7m contract to upgrade four Watchman radars in a bid to enhance the UK’s surveillance and air traffic control (ATC) capabilities.

The latest contract is under the Aquila-led Marshall programme, a joint venture between Thales UK and NATS, aimed at the delivery of air traffic management services at Ministry of Defence operated airfields in the UK and abroad over the next 22 years.

BAE will upgrade the 1980s designed Watchman ATC radar using the new transmitters and new signal processing technology that was used on its Sampson, Artisan and Commander radars.

"Using technology from our newest radars, we will extend the life and improve the performance of an essential asset for the Ministry of Defence for at least a further 20 years."

BAE Systems Maritime Services product and training services director Les Gregory said: "This is an important contract because it demonstrates the benefit of taking a through-life service view.

"Using technology from our newest radars, we will extend the life and improve the performance of an essential asset for the Ministry of Defence for at least a further 20 years."

Currently, a total of 100 Watchman radars are in service across more than 40 locations. The radar has the capacity to accurately determine the range, direction, and speed of objects up to 222km away.

The upgraded radar will make maintenance and service operations easier in future, while reducing the equipment footprint and the number of spares required by 80%, the company stated.


Image: The planned upgrade will extend the life and improve the performance of Watchman radars. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.

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