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Four Netherlands frigates to be equipped with Thales-made SMART-L AESA radars


The "Koninklijke Marine" (Netherlands Royal Navy) has decided to equip four of its frigates of the De Zeven Provinciën-class with Thales' SMART-L Multi Mission Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars.


Four Netherlands frigates to be equipped with Thales made SMART L AESA radars The De Zeven Provinciën-class HNLMS Tromp, the second frigate of the class, at the Belgian Navy Days (Picture source : Navy Recognition)


The lead ship of the class HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën has already been equipped with the radar that will provide the ship with air and missile defense capability. According to Thales, the SMART-L MM is a next generation Long Range Multi Mission Radar for Air and Space Surveillance and Ballistic Missile Detection. The digitally controlled AESA type of radar, applying GaN transmitter and Dual Axis Multibeam receiver technology, is capable of detecting air and space objects including stealth, short up to long range ballistic missiles and space objects. The SMART-L MM is capable of surveillance and tracking of Ballistic Missiles up to 2000 km while simultaneous maintaining the Air Defence capability. Aboard these vessels, the MM variant replaces the existing SMART-L radars.

Frigates belonging to this class are advanced air-defence and command and control frigates, also known as LCF (Luchtverdedigings- en commandofregat in Dutch, air defense and command frigate). The ships are similar to the German Sachsen-class frigates in role and mission. The primary anti-aircraft weapons of the warships are the point defence Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and the area defence RIM-66 Standard Missile (SM-2) Block IIIA. The Mk 41 Vertical Launch System is used to house and launch these missiles. 32 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and 32 Standard Missile SM-2 Block IIIA are carried. The Navy is currently investigating the use of these ships for the role of Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD).