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French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle Received its SMART-S Mk2 Radar

The French Navy (Marine Nationale) nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has received its radar upgrade. The SMART-S Mk2 radar was fitted on December 19, 2017 according to a Thales spokesperson. Charles de Gaulle is in dry dock since February 2017 for its mid-life refit following 15 years of operational deployments.

French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle Recieved its SMART S Mk2 Radar 1 The Thales SMART-S Mk2 radar has been fitted aboard French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. Thales picture.

The SMART-S Mk2 multifunction 3D radar is replacing the old DRBJ-11B surveillance radar. The SMART-S Mk2 previously replaced the DRBJ-11B aboard the two Cassard-class air defense frigates of the French Navy. According to Thales, SMART-S Mk2 is the latest 3D multibeam radar. It operates in S-band and is optimised for medium-to-long-range surveillance and target designation in littoral environments.

Compared to the DRBJ-11B, the new radar brings improved medium range surveillance as well as better detection and tracking. "The new radar brings both better detection and an increased range (about 20% increase). In addition, the SMART-S Mk2 brings a lot to the "watch" function which in turn significantly improves the handling of the 3D air tactical situation" a French Navy source told Navy Recognition in a 2014 interview about the Cassard-class radar upgrade.

To learn more about SMART-S Mk2 follow this link.

French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle Recieved its SMART S Mk2 Radar 2 The Thales SMART-S Mk2 radar being installed aboard French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle during its mid-life refit. Thales picture.

Charles de Gaulle's ongoing major overhaul and mid-life refit focuses on three main elements: The combat management system of the vessel, the carrier air wing facilities and the ship management systems.

Thanks to the upgrade of its combat system (and associated sensors), Charles de Gaulle is set to retain top of the line sensor and processing capabilities for the next 25 years. The aircraft carrier is set to be back in the water this summer (major refits take 18 months on average).

For more details about the aircraft carrier's mid-life refit, check out our in depth coverage at this link, as well as the video report below.

 Our video coverage on Charles de Gaulle's mid-life refit