Euronaval: GEM Elettronica Planning New Sentinel Family Member

Italian radar specialists GEM Elettronica is planning a new addition to the company’s Sentinel family of naval radars.

The firm told ChainHomeHigh at the Euronaval exhibition in Paris that they are developing a new three-dimensional X-band surveillance radar which they hope will be available for purchase next year. The radar is being aimed at customers requiring either vessel-mounted navigation or shore-based coastal surveillance systems.

This new product uses a phased-array antenna, and has low sidelobes and frequency agility to reduce detection and enhance the radar’s electronic counter-counter measure performance. An optional transponder antenna can be fitted, and the radar comes equipped with a navigation antenna.

GEM Elettronica told ChainHomeHigh that they have yet to name their new product, although they will reveal a designation when the radar becomes formally available for purchase next year. Currently, the firm is in discussions with the Italian Navy regarding the installation of this new system onboard a series of new patrol vessels which will equip the force.

In a separate development the company revealed that one of the coastal radar stations that it had supplied to Libya prior to last year’s civil war had been destroyed by a NATO airstrike during hostilities. GEM Elettronica has installed ten radar stations along the Libyan coast stretching from the country’s border with Tunisia to the Libyan capital Tripoli. The other nine radar stations which had been constructed remain functioning and were not attacked during hostilities. It is believed that the radar station may have been destroyed by an airstrike performed by the Armée de l’Air (French Air Force). GEM Elettronica had been contracted by the regime of former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi to build a coastal surveillance radar network along the Libyan coast involving up to one hundred radar stations. The company hopes to reactivate this contract at some point in the near future, although it says that because of Libya’s currently complex political situation, this may not happen at any point soon.

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