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Hensoldt has successfully installed the first two of its TRS-4D naval radars aboard the US Navy’s (USN) FREEDOM-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). After passing acceptance trials on Lake Michigan without issue, the radar on-board USS INDIANAPOLIS (LCS 17) was delivered by FREEDOM-class prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, to the USN. The second radar has been installed aboard USS ST LOUIS (LCS 19) and is preparing for acceptance trials.

The TRS-4D radar (AN/SPS-80 in US service) for LCS is a rotating version of the active electronically scanned array (AESA) fixed-panel TRS-4D radar currently being installed on German F-125 frigates. It will be the first AESA rotating radar aboard a USN vessel: currently, eight radars are under contract for the FREEDOM-class, six of which have passed factory acceptance. The new radar combines mechanical and electronic azimuth scanning to achieve fast generation of target tracks. This software-defined radar is programmable by the customer, enabling changes to radar characteristics to match future threats that evolve over the life of the ship. The ability to customise the characteristics of the TRS-4D radar enables designers to maximise the inherent modularity of LCS variants to best suit a specific LCS configuration.

System characteristics of the TRS-4D are an excellent match for the environment LCS faces […] The radar’s AESA technology delivers increased sensitivity to detect smaller targets with greater accuracy, as well as faster track generation to give LCS more time to react to advanced threats,” commented Managing Director of Vienna, VA-based Hensoldt Inc., Ken Loy.

Littoral combat ships are fast, agile surface combatants, optimised for operating in the highly trafficked near-shore regions of the world. Through its innovative modular design, the LCS can be reconfigured for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures in the near term, and can adapt its capabilities for changing threats and scenarios that will occur over its service life.

USS INDIANAPOLIS (LCS-17) during acceptance trials on Lake Michigan. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

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