Thales launches maritime radar system for small vessels

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) European electronics major Thales Tuesday announced the launch of Vigile LW, a lightweight, naval radar electronic support measures (RESM) system that it says will redefine situational awareness for small vessels. It could play a major role as India beefs up its coastal defences in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai carnage.

‘Vigile LW detects, identifies and displays air and surface threats in real time, providing tactical situational awareness wherever needed for small vessels,’ Jean-Marc Goujon, Thales’ head of marketing for military products, said at its unveiling at DefExpo 2010 here.

‘It is primarily designed for naval applications but can play a major role in coastal security. This is because it can be mounted on vessels, on land or can even be transported on land,’ Goujon explained.

‘This means it can provide three-way surveillance in real time,’ he added.

He said preliminary discussions had been held with Indian officials and the response had been encouraging.

Depending on the final response, Goujon said Thales could also look at floating a new joint venture to further develop and manufacture the system in India.

‘Whether protecting national coastlines or protecting EEZs (exclusive economic zones) and shipping lanes, Vigile LW also draws on Thales’s cutting edge pulse de-interleaving and signal processing technologies to provide immediate and automatic warning of high priority,’ a Thales statement said.

‘Its compact size means that it can be smartly integrated and rapidly fitted to any type of vessel,’ the statement added.

The Vigile LW is the core element of a self protection suite and can be operated as a standalone RESM or as a central electronic warfare controller.

‘Installed across several vessels, Vigile LW can provide a network-centric compatible solution for increased protection,’ the statement pointed out.

According to Pierre-Eric Pommellet, Thales’ senior vice president in charge of defence mission systems, ‘this new member of the Vigile family meets a true requirement in the market and aims to fill a very real capacity gap – at a lower acquisition and possession cost’.

‘It is the perfect maritime surveillance solution for small, fast vessels carrying out vital tactical missions,’ Pommellet added.

The Vigile LW is the fifth product in the Vigile family of advanced naval electronic support measures/electronic intelligence systems.

‘The Vigile range is designed to respond to the ever-increasing complexity and density of electronic emitters in the modern operational maritime environment, particularly in littoral and inshore areas,’ the Thales statement said.

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