Currently, the largest defence acquisition programme for the South African National Defence Force is the Ground Based Air Defence System. A key element of this system is its radar. Armscor has the option to import this radar or to use a radar developed and manufactured in South Africa. It was decided that a local radar will only be considered if it is internationally competitive on both price and performance.
In this radar simulation, a fighter aircraft approaches a pair of Gripens on patrol.
In response to this, the second phase of what was probably the largest collaborative radar technology development project ever undertaken in South Africa, the DBR-XL Radar Technology Development Programme, has been successfully concluded. It has been described by defence stakeholders as superior to all international offerings and suitable as a missile fire control radar for the current, and future, model of the Umkhonto missile.
The CSIR provided independent evaluation of the technical concepts based on previous radar experience and detailed radar and algorithm level modelling and simulation; developing optimised signal processing algorithms; participating in missile fire control system level performance analysis workshops and providing specialist input based on its advanced radar signal processor design and development experience.
Collaborators included the CSIR, Armscor, the universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, industry stakeholders such as Reutech Radar Systems, Denel Dynamics and Denel Integrated Systems Solutions, and the Ground Based Air Defence System Programme Office.
This development is expected to lead to further development of the local radar industry as well as export opportunities.