SMART-L Volume Search Radar

Thales to upgrade SMART-L radars for BMD

The four air defence and command frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy will be able in a few years from now to detect and track ballistic missiles at very long ranges. The Netherlands’ Ministry of Defence and Thales Nederland signed a contract for the upgrade of these long range radars for all four frigates of the “De Zeven Provinciën” class.

The upgrade will considerably increase the radars’ range so that it will be possible to detect ballistic missiles shortly after they are launched. This will substantially lengthen the response time required to eliminate these weapons.

The new SMART-L will also be capable to calculate the target of the ballistic missile as well as the position from where the missile was launched.


Ballistic missles are a serious threat because they are relatively inexpensive and can easily be equipped with weapons of mass destruction. Once launched, the extremely high velocity of these missiles makes them very difficult to eliminate. That is why a timely detection is essential. In the field of radar development, the Netherlands has a substantial lead on other countries. This was acknowledged by the NATO partners at this year’s summit in Chicago. This is also the reason why other NATO countries, such as Germany, Denmark, France, Italy and the UK, have selected the SMART-L radar or S1850, a derived version of this successful volume air surveillance radar.

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Published on:
19 juli 2012

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