Lima 2023 imageSensor specialist HENSOLDT has successfully concluded the modernisation of core test systems of the artillery location radar COBRA which is in service with several NATO armies. Under a contract worth several million euros awarded by the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement, OCCAR) on behalf of Germany and France, HENSOLDT has replaced the Radar Target Generator (RTG) and the COBRA Radar Environment Simulator (CRES), key elements of the test environment of COBRA indispensable for determining optimum deployment and testing system performance.

The RTG is designed to generate primary radar returns and can be placed in the radar’s far field in order to simulate target trajectories. The new RTG takes into account changes in the user nations’ operational requirements such as long-term deployments in stationary locations, simultaneous operation of several systems, and 24/7 surveillance missions.

The CRES is the key element to test and verify the COBRA radar performance in a laboratory environment with reproducible target trajectories. It generates artificial radar returns allowing it to simulate all kinds of ballistic projectiles (missiles, mortar grenades, howitzer, or gun projectiles) without the necessity of real transmissions.

COBRA is a mobile radar system for locating hostile artillery and missile positions and for calculating in advance the flight path of projectiles in order to give early warning and enable protective and if required, defensive action. Its first configuration was developed by the Euro-Art International EWIV consortium comprising HENSOLDT, then Airbus Defence and Space, Thales, and Lockheed Martin around the turn of the century for the German, French, and British armed forces. Today, a total of more than 40 systems of various configurations have been deployed by NATO and other armed forces within and outside Europe.

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