The Searchwater radar and the Cerberus mission system of Thales UK was selected by the Royal Navy in order to equip the AW101 Merlin airborne surveillance and control capability (ASaC) helicopters.

The specially adapted helicopter will enter operational service in 2018 and will replace the ageing Sea King Mark 7 ASaC helicopter, which is equipped with earlier versions of the Searchwater and Cerberus systems.

The existing Searchwater radar and Cerberus mission system have proved an invaluable surveillance asset for the Royal Navy, capable of detecting and tracking multiple targets over land, air and sea.

The two systems have been used in operations in the Indian Ocean, in Iraq in 2003 and in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2014. Additionally, the system provided crucial airborne surveillance and control for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

According to Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK,

“The Thales Searchwater-Cerberus combination has proved to be a critical asset not only for maritime force protection and air surveillance but also for coalition forces on land operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The CROWSNEST capability builds on a trusted system to meet threats that the Royal Navy will face over the forthcoming years. Through new innovative radar modes and improved performance against low radar cross section targets, the Royal Navy will have a world class rotary-based platform to protect the new aircraft carriers, the fleet and Joint forces.”

The new version of the Searchwater radar and Cerberus mission system includes enhanced performance and data processing, as well as the addition of new modes to the operationally proven, high-powered multi-mission radar, improved human machine interface, reduced weight and built-in training features.

Thales UK’s new version of the Searchwater radar and Cerberus mission system will maximize the re-use of the Ministry of Defence’s existing investment in equipment, training and expertise on the existing Searchwater radar and Cerberus mission systems, by upgrading, updating and adapting a battle proven capability, ahead of operational timescales.

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