PAS 2011: Raytheon targets APAR vessels for PAA integration
European naval ships equipped with Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) will be the first maritime platforms integrated into the Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) for ballistic missile defence on the continent, according to Raytheon.
Describing the US collaboration strategy to implement plans for next-generation missile defence in Europe, Taylor Lawrence, president for missile systems at Raytheon, said APAR ships in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands needed only minor modifications in order to become integrated into the ballistic missile defence system.
Speaking at the Paris Air Show, he said: ‘This is clearly very do-able and all are interested. The Dutch are leading the charge and they are working with Germany to fund modifications. It is now up to their own national decision-making processes.’
The Royal Netherlands Navy currently operates four LCF De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates, while the German Navy fleet includes three F124 Sachsen-class frigates with APAR technology. Denmark has equipped its fleet of Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates with the same system and Lawrence also described potential for Spanish F-100, UK Type 45 and Italian Horizon vessels.
‘As European nations look at their roles, we see a number of naval platforms that could be included, especially APAR ships upgraded with SM-3. This could be one of the earliest deployments of SM-3 into the missile family in Europe,’ he said. ‘We are talking to companies regarding what subsystems they have and see this as an evolving discussion over the next few years.’
Referring to the SM-3 family of missiles as ‘critical’ to PAA, Lawrence described his aspiration for the first flight of SM-3 1B in the next few months. This missile, he said, would comprise an advanced two colour IR seeker, advanced signal processor and throttling divert and altitude control system. Both sea and land-based tests are expected.
‘There are many opportunities to work in Europe with our partners to bring this capability into service,’ he explained. ‘We are looking forward to the decision NATO and [member] nations will make as we shape missile defence solutions, as they expand NATO’s ALTBMD [Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence] and integrate with PAA.’
Describing the next steps, Lawrence outlined plans to integrate a ‘wide spectrum’ of sensors into SM-3; land-based options for the missile for European BMD; and the combination of integration with AN/TPY-2 radars for ‘flexible and affordable’ regional BMD capabilities.
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