Britain, France and Sweden have signed a technical agreement to undertake technological studies for a lightweight, compact radar for unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).
The €21 million, four-year contract, still under negotiation, will be notified by the European Defence Agency to Thales, the leader of a consortium which includes Selex and Saab. It will be co-financed by governments and industry, according to the DGA French procurement agency.
The innovative technology partnership, named SIMCLAIRS (Studies for Integrated Multifunction Compact Lightweight AIrborne Radars & Systems), aims to have developed by 2020 a “technological base” for a future European capacity in the field of light and compact radar payloads for UAVs.
There are projects underway in Europe on payloads for large and medium-sized UAVs, but applications for tactical UAVs and even missiles need to be compact and multifunctional. The capacities sought are principally the detection of mobile targets, detection under vegetation, passive electronic monitoring and communications.