Active Phased Array Radars

Active Phased Array Radar (APAR) is a shipborne multi-function radar (MFR) developed and manufactured by Thales Nederland. It is the first naval Active Electronically Scanned Array MFR to be used on an operational warship.


Active Phased Array Radar has four fixed (i.e. non-rotating) sensor arrays (faces), fixed on a pyramidal structure. Each face consists of 3424 transmit/receive (TR) modules operating at X band frequencies.

european radar

The radar provides the following capabilities:

  • air target tracking of over 200 targets out to 150 km
  • surface target tracking of over 150 targets out to 32 km
  • horizon search out to 75 km
  • “limited” volume search out to 150 km(in order to back up the volume search capabilities of theSMART-L)
  • cued search (a mode in which the search is cued using data originating from another sensor)
  • surface gunfire support
  • missile guidance using the Interrupted Continuous Wave Illumination (ICWI) technique, thus allowing guidance of 32 semi-active radar homing missiles in flight simultaneously, including 16 in the terminal guidance phase
  • “innovative” Electronic Counter-Countermeasures (ECCM)

A naval radar

APAR is typically paired with Thales Nederland’s SMART-L radar (which operates at L band frequencies). SMART-L is a long-range Volume Search Radar (VSR) that is able to provide volume search and tracking out to 480 km. The whole system is called Anti-Air Warfare Systems (AAWS), and is based on the NATO Anti-Air Warfare (NAAWS) concept of the late 1980s. The principle behind this concept is that an X band MFR coupled with an L band VSR provides the optimal combination of complementary capabilities: the VSR is optimized for long range detection and tracking of targets, while the MFR is optimized for medium range high accuracy tracking of targets, as well as horizon search and missile guidance functions.

Active Phased Array Radar

Active Phased Array Radar

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