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Saab-Swedish Navy

Sweden Is Implementing Distributed Sensors for Its Surface Vessels

While there are few details in the procurement notice, it’s eerily similar to a joint Saab-Swedish Navy test program that resulted earlier this year in Saab’s Enforcer III and the Swedish Navy’s Visby-class corvette HSwMS Nyköping (K34) cooperating out at sea. Under the operational test, the Enforcer III had been equipped with a Saab Giraffe 1X radar, which was able to be operated remotely as a sensor-equipped USV. This allowed the stealth corvette to act on its own sensors in passive mode while the unmanned radar vessel could operate away from the corvettie giving a larger area covered by radar, enabling increased safety of the corvette because it would be harder for enemy forces to locate their ship.

The ability to work the vessel remotely was described as a key part of the operational tests in September.As not having to worry about the safety of a crew aboard the CB 90 is crucial for allowing the radar vessel to push closer to the enemy and not having to worry about the emission control aspect and enemy actions against a sensor vessel. However, it remains unclear whether this program will also see CB 90H converted from remote control or whether it will just include radiation sensors.

While the details of this radar system are murky, the Giraffe 1X is seen as the frontrunner due to a combination of facts. This includes Swedish homefield advantage, the fact that the parent company also manufactures it, and those who have been watching Swedish testing might have seen a rather quick decision made on making this conversion program possible. The Giraffe 1X is recognized as a lightweight option for short-range ground-based air defenses mounted on light wheeled platforms but despite being limited to only 100 kilogram hammers has full 3D capability with 12 sensors and 360 degree coverage. It’s power requirement also makes it a perfect contender for small ships such as the CB 90 with its low-power requirements.

For short, the CB 90H has a limited range and poor seakeeping capabilities but it still remains competitive in missions close to shore because of the ability to collect joint air- and sea-situational pictures. In addition, feeding data into the military’s Joint Air-Sea-Situation pictures adds value.

 

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