First Digital Sea Fire Radar for French Navy’s FDI

Thales has delivered the first Sea Fire digital radar with fully solid-state four-panel AESA antenna that can scan an area of several hundred square kilometres, for the French Navy’s future Defence and Intervention Frigate By DA Staff / 25 May 2021
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Thales has delivered the first digital Sea Fire radar for integration on the French Navy’s first Defence and Intervention Frigate, a milestone in the FDI programme following a seven-year development and in-line with the French defence procurement agency’s initial schedule.

The Sea Fire is the latest-generation solid-state modular multifunction radar, with a four-panel AESA1 active antenna, simultaneously performing long-range air and surface surveillance as well as fire control to protect the French frigates from threats in complex environments.

Launched in 2014, the first of the five Sea Fire AESA digital radars for French Navy’s future Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI) arrived at the Lorient shipyard on April 27th 2021 for integration on the first vessel.

Sea Fire is the solution of choice for commanders responsible for ensuring vessel survivability in the face of a rapidly expanding array of threats. 

With its fully solid-state four-panel AESA antenna, Sea Fire can search for air and surface targets simultaneously, scanning an area of several hundred square kilometres with 360° coverage in azimuth, 90° in elevation and an unmatched refresh rate.

This digital radar is at the forefront of technological innovation and benefits from all Thales’s Big Data and cybersecurity expertise. Subsequent software developments will further improve the product’s performance and operational availability throughout its lifecycle. 

Large volumes of data are generated by each panel — one terabit per second — and can be processed using advanced algorithms to optimize the radar’s performance in its specific operating environment. 

This new AESA fixed-array radar offers twice the operational availability of earlier-generation radar systems with mechanically scanned antennas.

“Drawing on more than 70 years of Thales experience in the field of surface radars, the Sea Fire is designed to help navies to counter all types of threats, from slow-moving targets to supersonic missiles,” said Rémi Mongabure, Bids Director for multifunction radars at Thales.

“Thales is proud to be on board the future FDI frigates with a digital radar that brings modern frigates the same power and performance as a destroyer and ensures that commanders can fulfil their mission with optimum safety.”

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