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Pakistan orders SharpEye radar for second Agosta 90B submarine

The U.K.-based navigation, surveillance and security radar systems supplier Kelvin Hughes announced that it has received a new order from the Pakistan Navy for the SharpEye Doppler radar.

This unit is slotted to equip the second Khalid-class Agosta 90B air-independent propulsion (AIP)-equipped submarine, the PNS Saad, in 2019 under a mid-life upgrade program. Kelvin Hughes will supply the radar for PNS Khalid in 2018.

The SharpEye is a low probability-of-intercept (LPI) radar with a sub-clutter visibility (SCV) of 30 dB. It can track targets as small as 0.5 m2 RCS (radar cross-section).

Kelvin Hughes states that the SharpEye is an effective upgrade solution as it can utilize “existing bulkhead infrastructure in the pressure hull,” negating the need to change an older submarine’s “external antenna, rotational drive and waveguide connections.”

The Pakistan Navy had also selected the SharpEye I and E/F-band radar (along with support equipment, such as tactical radar software) for its forthcoming 17,000 Fleet Tanker (currently undergoing sea trials).

Kelvin Hughes states, “The combined systems will equip the vessel with warship navigation and tactical situational awareness capabilities, including helicopter tracking, recovery and control.”

Notes & Comments:

In 2016, Pakistan awarded the Turkish defence contractor Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik A.Ş. (STM) the contract to upgrade the Agosta 90B AIP submarines. The lead ship – PNS Khalid – was earmarked for delivery in 45 months and the subsequent two were follow 12 months of one another. STM is the prime contractor for the program, which is being implemented at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works.

Kelvin Hughes was acquired by the German electronics company Hensoldt in June (concluded in October). Hensoldt was formed by the private equity group KKR, which had acquired two divisions from European defence giant Airbus Defence & Space (Airbus DS): Airbus DS Electronics and Border Security GmBH and Airbus DS Optronics GmBH. The latter – now known as Hensoldt Optronics South Africa (HOSA) – will supply SERO 250 periscopes and OMS 200 optronic masts for the Agosta 90B upgrade.

The Turkish companies Aselsan and Havelsan are also subsystem suppliers in the program, providing the ARES-2SC/NS electronic support measures system and Naval Integration Command and Control System, respectively. STM and the Pakistan Navy have yet to announce a replacement for the Agosta 90B’s sonar system, which is currently the Thales TSM 223. It is unclear if all subsystems will be replaced.