Thales is delivering this first antenna on budget and ahead of schedule. It will now be shipped to the Shore Integration Facility in Southern France, where it will be thoroughly tested for about four year by DGA, French Navy, Thales and Naval Group.
According to Thales, the SeaFire provides early warning of potential attacks from conventional and emerging air and surface threats using long-range 3D surveillance, horizon search, and surface surveillance. Its 360-degree coverage can track 800 objects simultaneously without saturation at a range of up to 500 kilometers in the air and 80 kilometers on the surface.
From covering its host ship and the area around it to ASTER air-defence fire control and surface-gun support, Sea Fire’s fully digital, software-controlled processing is a game-changer for radar. It gives smaller vessels the performance of much larger ones and can be upgraded to meet client needs and new threats. Benefiting from Thales’ big data and cybersecurity expertise, Sea Fire automatically adapts to an approaching object’s characteristics.
The SeaFire will allow the future FDI (Frégate de Defense et d’Intervention – Intervention and Defense Frigates) of the French Navy to counter emerging and future threats from UAVs to hypersonic threats, including ballistic missiles.
The French Navy is set to commission five FDI frigates between 2023 and 2029. The ships are being designed by Naval Group and will all be built at the company’ shipyard in Lorient.
They will be 122 meters in length with a displacement of 4,250 tons. One of their main design feature will be their inverted bow. They are set to be crewed by 120 sailors.
The FDI will be the first French Navy vessels to feature a phased array, non-rotating, radar. They will also be the first surface combatant to deploy almost systematically a VTOL-UAV, the SDAM. They will be fitted with a wide range of top-of-the-line technologies such as:
– The “digital combat bridge” featuring augmented reality technology. Located right behind the bridge, the digital combat bridge will display a panoramic view of the exterior and fuze data from the CIC and the various sensors from the ship allowing for a better watch of the surroundings of the vessel, including at night.
– An IT configuration with two data centers aboard the vessel, making it ultra resilient against cyber threats.