Thales wins Netherlands Goalkeeper modification contract
Thales is to update the Goalkeeper Close-In Weapon Systems of the Royal Netherlands Navy under a new contract signed between the Netherland’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Thales Nederland. The contract, announced 29 November, covers 16 Goalkeeper systems and will ensure their deployment until 2025.
Goalkeeper is a close-in defence system designed to protect against highly manoeuvrable missiles and aircraft. It is an autonomous and fully automatic system which detects and tracks targets, opens fire and performs kill assessment for several targets simultaneously. Continuous search with track-while-scan provides an automatic and fast switch-over to the next-priority target in multiple-target scenarios. Goalkeeper provides timely detection of small and supersonic targets, even in dense clutter and jamming environments, Pin-point tracking of sea-skimming targets is provided by the unique dual-frequency track radar; while the Gatling 30-mm gun and special ammunition provide the lethal power necessary to destroy missile warheads.
Under the contract, Thales will carry out an operational modification to bring the system to the highest operational status, making it capable of dealing with current and future threats and solving various obsolescence issues. According to the company, the enhanced surface target mode of Goalkeeper, in combination with a new frangible ammunition, provides Goalkeeper with the capability to act also as a highly effective defence weapon against surface targets including speed boats.
Goalkeeper’s prediction capabilities will be substantially increased through the use of new algorithms and state-of-the-art electro-optic tracking capabilities, enabling the system to successfully engage the latest generation of missiles. Multi-Goalkeeper deployment capabilities will also be improved.
The contract includes an option for the two Goalkeeper systems on board of the M-class frigates of the Royal Belgian Navy. This option will ensure identical configurations and facilitate maintenance. The first Goalkeeper will be modified in 2015 by Thales; the remaining 15 units will be modified by the Royal Netherlands Navy at the naval base in Den Helder.
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