Hensoldt sensors are in service with defence and security forces (ship-borne as well as airborne) worldwide. Of interest to 2019 Surface Navy Association National Symposium (SNA) delegates are the presence of the company’s sensors in the orders of battle for the German, French and Royal Navies, the US Navy and Coast Guard, the Royal Australian and Chilean Navy, and the services of South Korea and Japan.
Lothar Belz, Spokesperson for Hensoldt Corporate and Hensoldt Sensors, addressed his portfolio’s evolution – technology, first: “As always, emerging trends reflect technology-driven new capabilities as well as new operational tasks and threats. I can give only a few examples. First, the general trend in electronics aiming at reduction of size, weight, power consumption and cost (SWaP-C) applies also to the naval sensor domain. This translates into customers requiring multi-function sensors, smaller antennas (reducing top-weight), application of AESA technology also for smaller ships and boats, and others. Another requirement aims at sensor fusion, i.e. improving reconnaissance data quality by combining several sensors (e.g. camera + radar).”
From an operational point of view, sensors need to better distinguish smaller from bigger targets (e.g. speed boats hiding behind container ships or between islands) and to detect small manoeuvering targets (drones, for instance) at a distance. Mr Belz continued: “Another area of operations with increasing importance, turns out to be the protection of ships within harbours, together with the protection of the harbour installations themselves.”
As a platform-independent supplier Hensoldt’s partnerships reflect a “who’s who” in the naval market space, working with virtually all naval yards or system houses such as Lockheed Martin, Leonardo DRS, Navantia, Thales Group, Hanwha and others.
The corporate spokesperson further commented on his company’s business model as an independent sensor solutions provider: “As an independent supplier we are not obliged to take care of a preferred ‘in-house solution’, but can tailor the best solution to the customer requirements. Bringing our specific skills into a certain partnership improves the value of the solution for all sides. Today, Hensoldt is a respected partner in all sensor-related areas which widens our accessible market continuously.”
And while the company could not divulge specifics on future partnerships and other developments, Mr Belz promised that in the near future, “you will see exciting new developments from Hensoldt in a number of areas such as electronic intelligence, UAS avionics, passive radar and specifically, airborne sensors.”