For the first time the system was unveiled at DSEI in September 2013 as the world’s first carbon composite antenna turning unit, which doubles as the housing to accommodate the radar sensor. This radar is lighter in weight, more powerful, more robust and stealthier than its predecessor.
TÜV SÜD BABT issued the Type Approval certificate detailing that the system conforms to Annex A.1/4.34 Radar Equipment CAT 1 and A.1/4.38a Radar Equipment CAT 1 with Chart Option. The approval applies to the entire radar system – the Kelvin Hughes radar display and software, I-band SharpEye™ radar transceiver, the carbon composite antenna turning unit and the I-band antenna.
Navies engaged in new builds, upgrade and life extension programmes frequently insist that navigation and collision avoidance systems meet the same international type approval standards as those required under the IMO for any commercial ocean going vessel. However, naval operators require much more from their radar than just navigation and collision avoidance. Features crucial to the naval operator include longer range and more reliable detection of potential threats, helicopter control in adverse weather and small target detection to enhance tactical situational awareness.
Unlike many commercial marine shipping radar systems that can meet type approval but cannot provide the capabilities that a modern navy requires, SharpEye™ delivers both in a cost effective upmast package. Doubling as a navigation / collision avoidance system and providing tactical capability to the command, SharpEye™ radar technology meets the detection challenges of navies, coastguards and border agencies through a combination of radar techniques designed to provide the best performance in all conditions whilst also allowing for optimisation for specific detection needs.
SharpEye™ transmits a low power, patented pulse sequence enabling short, medium and long range radar returns to be detected simultaneously. The radar operator therefore maintains situational awareness regardless of the range scale setting of the radar display whilst other users of the radar can select their own radar display range scale. The radar’s low power output also reduces the probability of detection by ESM equipment.