The first Sea Acceptance Test (SAT) of Thales’ Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) multifunction radar on the new Iver Huitfeldt class frigates of the Royal Danish Navy was a success. The test was performed with the first APAR delivered to the Royal Danish Navy, installed on HDMS Peter Willemoes.

The test was the latest stage in the project that began in December 2006, when the contract was signed for the delivery of three APAR systems for the Iver Huitfeldt class frigates. Between January 2011 and January 2012 the Factory Acceptance Tests for all three radars were performed and in 2011 and 2012 the systems were installed on the three ships of this class: HDMS Iver Huitfeldt, HSMS Peter Willemoes and HDMS Niels Juel.

APAR is a multifunction radar capable of fulfilling various tasks simultaneously; automatic detection and tracking of low altitude targets (e.g. sea skimmers), detection and tracking of air targets and missile guidance support. It is designed for the terminal guidance (CW/ICWI) requirements of SM-2 and ESSM missiles. Interrupted Continuous Wave Illumination (ICWI) enables a single fire control radar to control several missiles simultaneously, thereby greatly enhancing a ship's defence capabilities.

The APAR antenna consists of four arrays; each array composed of more than 3000 very small radar transmitter/receiver (T/R) elements. The combination of T/R modules in one array can generate narrow beams that can be pointed in any direction within a cone of about 140° in azimuth and 85° in elevation. Combined, the four arrays cover the full 360°. Switching from one beam to another can be done very rapidly. The use of so many T/R modules gives this radar unique performance and high operational availability.

Thales Nederland CEO Gerben Edelijn said: “This SAT demonstrates our capability to maintain the highest possible level of product quality over a long period of time. We are proud of the excellent relation with the Royal Danish Navy.”

Following this SAT, there will be a Harbour Acceptance Test later in 2013 to test the ship’s Anti Air Warfare and Fire Control capabilities, with the program scheduled to end early 2014.