RACAL DEFENCE RADAR believes that the acquisition of the Thorn EMI sensor division at the end of March has given it a "world-class capability" in air systems which will strengthen the group's hand as it bids for future contracts, especially in the electronic-warfare (EW) market.

Simon Mountfort, managing director of the Racal Radar Defence Systems (RRDS) division, adds that airborne systems are a key priority as the new sensors business is integrated into the group, a process which should be complete by the middle of the year.

He points out that the Thorn acquisition, brings a range of new radar products to the group, including the Searchwater family of maritime patrol aircraft/airborne early warning (AEW) systems and positions on UK programmes, such as the airborne standoff radar and the Royal Air Force's Raytheon/British Aerospace Dominie T.I training/aircraft upgrade.

These will now sit alongside RRDS' own products, such as the Prophet radar-warning receiver and Kestrel electronic-support-measures (ESM) systems.

Mountfort believes that, by combining these product lines, the enlarged company can now produce a "better bid" than either operation on its own.

He cites the current competition to upgrade the Royal Navy's helicopter-mounted Searchwater systems as a prime example. Racal is proposing a package which would include a Thorn transmitter, alongside its own Kestrel ESM system and operator console.

Other future air business under consideration includes radar and ESM systems for the UK's replacement maritime patrol aircraft.

Source: Flight International