The Netherlands: First Integrated Mast IM400 Successfully Completes Factory Acceptance Test

First Integrated Mast IM400 Successfully Completes Factory Acceptance Test

The first Integrated Mast IM400 has successfully passed the Factory Acceptance Test. The FAT was attended by a delegation from the Netherland’s Defence Materiel Organisation and the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Since the IM400 consists of various subsystems, the actual FAT comprised several tests. After the successful tests the contract partner accepted the first Integrated Mast.

Thales Nederland’s CEO Gerben Edelijn says: “this FAT proves that we are capable of designing, engineering and building a completely new concept in naval sensor and communication technology in a relatively very short time, which once more demonstrates our leading position in this field.”

Following the FAT, the IM400 was shipped to Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and successfully installed on the first patrol vessel “Holland”.

The second IM400 is presently being built by Thales in Hengelo. It will be installed on the second Patrol Ship “Zeeland” early 2012.

About the Integrated Mast

The integrated mast is a completely different design approach from the traditional sensor layout on board of naval vessels. One central mast structure houses the radar, optronic, and communication sensors and antennas as well as all cabinets and peripherals. The advantages of this sensor concept are huge: better operational performance, higher operational availability, reduced ship-building time, reduced maintenance requirements and enormous savings in below-deck space.

About the sensors

SeaMaster 400 is a non-rotating S-band radar with four faces for air and surface surveillance. It is derived from the proven SMART and APAR radar systems. SM400’s unique concept of multibeam volume search with four active scanning faces ensures the simultaneous performance of all operational tasks at a high update rate and very low false alarm rate. SM400 also provides helicopter direction and approach capabilities and has three fire control channels. The system’s high number of parallel transmit and receive channels provide a high degree of redundancy.

Seawatcher is a four face non-rotating active phased array X-band radar for naval surface surveillance. The high resolution system automatically detects and tracks asymmetric threats and very small objects such as mines, periscopes. Seawatcher can also be used for helicopter guidance.

Gatekeeper is a 360° panoramic electro-optical surveillance and alerter system based on IR/TV technology. Designed to counter emerging asymmetric threats down to small boats and swimmers, Gatekeeper increases short-range situational awareness in littoral environments.

ICAS, the Integrated Communication Antenna System facilitates the use of standard VHF/UHF communications equipment, is fitted with Link 16 integration, provides excellent transmit/receive isolation, offers estate for auxiliary antennas such as GSM/GPS and is designed for future growth.

NR IFF, the non-rotating Identification Friend or Foe, uses a cylindrical array fitted to the top of the structure. It is designed to operate with standard interrogator/transponder systems. It is optimized for operation with a non-rotating primary radar and offers accuracy commensurate with Mode 5/S.

Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2010, the company generated revenues of €13.1 billion with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 22,500 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.

Naval Today Staff, November 24, 2011; Image: thalesgroup