Canada to buy antenna sets for Halifax-class frigates

Illustration. Photo: Royal Canadian Navy

Royal Canadian Navy has decided to enhance the detection systems of its Halifax-class fleet.

The country’s defense ministry announced a contract with Saab Microwave Canada worth $21.7 million.

As informed, the contract encompasses an electronically-stabilized antenna set for the Sea Giraffe 180 (SG-180) radar, already installed on the Halifax-class frigates. The contract includes an option to acquire twelve more antenna sets, which could bring the total investment to $97.5 million.

The Royal Canadian Navy’s modernized multi-role frigates rely on equipment such as the Sea Giraffe to act as its far-seeing eyes. The Sea Giraffe 180 (SG-180) is a medium-range air and surface search radar. The upgrades to the antenna set will enhance its performance, increase its reach to up to 180 km, and provide new 3-D detection and tracking capability.

This contract supports naval operators by providing them with modern and efficient equipment so they can continue to defend Canada’s coasts and protect its ships and sailors, according to the defense ministry.

“Our capacity to detect threats is critical to our ability to respond quickly with defence countermeasures. Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, is all about making sure our women and men in uniform have everything they need to do their jobs. This contract will help equip our Navy’s women and men in uniform with more effective and combat-ready technology,” Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister, said.

“With this contract, the enhancements to the twelve Halifax-class frigates will provide their crews with the latest in modern technology to face any incoming threats,” Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, commented.

“Detection capabilities are becoming increasingly critical in the ever-evolving maritime security environment. Upgrading and modernizing our Royal Canadian Navy’s equipment will enable them to be more efficient and offer better security at home and abroad during operations supporting our allies” Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism and Member of Parliament for Halifax, noted.

The contract for new electronically stabilized antenna sets offers a performance-based approach. Based on the performance evaluation of the first installed antenna, additional sets could be procured and installed on the remainder of the fleet.

The frigate to receive the first antenna is currently expected to be HMCS St John’s, in early 2021. The installation will coincide with its planned maintenance period schedules.

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