Saab’s contract to deliver combat system capability for the Finnish Navy’s ‘Squadron 2020’ (‘Laivue 2020’) future corvette programme includes hypersonic missile detection and tracking, the Swedish company revealed at a media briefing in Karlskrona, Sweden on 2 June.
Such capability can be applied to tackling ballistic and cruise missile-based hypersonic threats. “It can be both; hypersonic is just a speed,” Johan Hӓgg, the company’s product manager for the Saab 9LV combat management system (CMS), told the briefing.
Under ‘Squadron 2020’ work contracted in September 2019, Finland is building four 3,900-tonne corvettes, all planned to be operational by the end of 2028. The corvettes’ radar capability is to be provided by Saab’s Sea Giraffe 4A FF (fixed-face) air/surface search radar, integrated with the 9LV CMS.
Hӓgg explained that Sea Giraffe and 9LV’s ballistic missile tracker module both provide capability options for addressing the hypersonics threat.
“You can choose the tracking from the radar, you can use the plots from the radar and develop your own tracks in the CMS, or you can provide other sensors into the tracker as well,” he said.
“The radar has the complete capacity to plot and track; the ballistic missile tracker can take the track from the radar, take a track from another source, and fuse them; or it can take the plots from the radar and make its own tracks. So, there are a lot of things you can choose here.”
“Regarding the standard functionality of the Hypersonic Detection Mode (HDM), this is a feature of Sea Giraffe 4A FF offered to customers, while 9LV CMS has a ballistic missile tracker module as part of its data fusion capabilities,” Saab told Armada International in a statement on 30 June.
As regards capacity to carry effectors to deliver intercept capability, the ‘Squadron 2020’ corvettes are to be fitted with the strike-length Mk 41 vertical launching system, which can carry a variety of missiles.
by Dr. Lee Willettt