New radars for the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are being tested on the Isle of Wight, UK. With the recent completion of the ARTISAN 3D radar’s Customer Critical Design Review, BAE Systems and its partners are taking the £100 M program, which carries a 10-year support element, into full production.

The new ARTISAN 3D medium range radar that will track the aircraft operating from the aircraft carrier is undertaking aircraft tracking trials on a full-size mock-up of the vessel’s superstructure. This will enable it to operate effectively in close proximity to the other surveillance and communications systems co-located with the radar.

Les Gregory, Radar Director, BAE Systems Insyte, said, “ARTISAN 3D is a prime example of the world-leading radar capability which BAE Systems provides to the UK and customers worldwide. As the program moves into its production phase, this testing is another milestone on the route to providing a radar system which will, I am sure, delight both customers and users.”

Capt. Howard Holdsworth, Royal Navy Short Range Air Defence Team Leader at the Ministry of Defence said “After a challenging year, the completion of the Customer Critical Design Review represents a significant achievement for both the BAE Systems Integrated Systems Technology and DE&S teams, and sets a firm foundation for the manufacture phase to commence. The delivery of ARTISAN is keenly anticipated by the Royal Navy, bringing with it improved performance at a lower through-life cost.”

The improved surveillance and tracking accuracy which enables ARTISAN 3D to undertake its air traffic management role also provides benefits in the inshore environment. With modern targets smaller and quicker than those previously faced, the new radar is better able to distinguish between those targets and background clutter, particularly over land. It will exploit the full capabilities of the updated Seawolf missile system and any future missile systems. ARTISAN 3D has been designed for greater reliability and a reduced maintenance requirement that will set new standards for this class of radar.