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RL-3D — a family of 3D radars for air defence

The RL-3D is a family of radars based on AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Antenna) technology making it possible to electronically change the antenna’s radiation pattern so it best matches the chosen mode. The radars in this family differ in range, thus determining their specific use in air defence structures.

meets GBAD
require-ments
unfolding time
< 10 min
detection of
anti-radar missiles
high resolution
in distance

The RL-3D series of radars has a detection range of up to 470 km. Limitations occur due to the Earth’s curvature and the condition of direct line of sight. The range requirement determines the size of the antenna. Thus the individual versions of the radars mainly differ in their design.

The basic building blocks for the signal processing modules and data processing modules are the same for the entire family. The modular scalable solution makes it easy to develop and maintain technology of the RL-3D series. Radars come as stationary or as mobile, easily and quickly deployed.

The RL-3D is a family of radars based on AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Antenna) technology making it possible to electronically change the antenna’s radiation pattern so it best matches the chosen mode. The radars in this family differ in range, thus determining their specific use in air defence structures.

Basic characteristics

  • Frequency band S
  • Short, medium or long range
  • Surveillance mode and fire control mode
  • Optimized detection for low-flying small targets
  • Detection and classification of air targets, including missiles and drones
  • High speed information recovery
  • Stationary or mobile
  • Advanced ECCM technology
  • Unmanned operation
  • Built-in Test Equipment (BITE)
  • Smooth integration with C2 systems
  • Highly mobile
  • High resistance to anti-radar missiles
  • Integrated IFF interrogator
  • Integrated GNSS
  • Integrated inertial navigation system

Technical description

Radars from this family can carry out two very different roles that are extremely important for air defence. They can work as surveillance, where they simply provide an image of the air situation, but they can also work in fire control mode, where they provide specific weapons with the specific coordinates of targets to be destroyed. These coordinates can be sent to guided missiles while in flight, thus correcting their course. This is ensured by the particular radar’s AESA antenna and SW technology. Here the radar can change its radiation characteristics as needs be and adapt its parameters to the selected mode.

In fire control mode, the radar’s properties are optimized to detect small and low-flying targets such as drones, UAVs or ballistic missiles.

The technology used by this family of radars allows customer solutions to be tailored to different customer requirements and to the assumed deployment environment. Full integration into existing ground defence structures is a matter of course.

Although the radars are designed for full mobility, they can also be stationary to take full advantage of different geographical locations.

The smaller radars from this family, with a shorter range, can thus serve as a “gap filler” to cover an area that the main radar cannot due to geographical obstacles.

RL-3D radars operate in frequency band S. The main part of the radar, the radar head, consists of a series antenna, the individual horizontal elements of which are powered by individual TR modules. The antenna enables full monopulse signal processing and the use of TR modules ensures the radar properties only degrade slightly if there is a failure of one of them. As the radar head rotates, the radiation beam sweeps up to determine the height of the target, rotation then determines its azimuth. Complete signal processing and digitization at the intermediate frequency level takes place in the radar head. All further processing is done digitally and the output data is then transmitted over an optical cable. Software-defined radar technology means the user’s radar capabilities can be further developed with no need for hardware interventions.

The intuitive graphical user interface gives the operator control of the radar, a display of the air situation and a display of diagnostic information. The radar can provide a surveillance situation and/or can be equipped with a communication module and a C2 module (Command & Control) to support air defence systems. The radar can simultaneously transmit data to the superior Command Control Post (CCP) and to the subordinate GBAD systems.

Radar RL-3DM

  • Highly mobile
  • Compact
  • Mode configurability
  • Easy to operate
  • High availability
  • Low LCC (Life Cycle Cost)

Radar RL-3DL

The RL-3DL radar’s detection range is 250 to 470 km.