COMMIT and Thales have signed a contract for the production and delivery of the AWWS fire control cluster and sensor suite for the four new ASW Frigates that Damen Naval will build for the Belgian and Netherlands’ Navies. This contract follows on the development contract signed in 2018.

Valued at several hundreds of millions of euros, this contract illustrates Thales’s leading position worldwide in naval fire control and sensor technology. It will be executed by Thales’s naval Centre of Excellence in Hengelo (the Netherlands).

Thales will deliver the AWWS fire control cluster that continuously generates the best solution for each approaching threat in every environment. AWWS is a cutting-edge warfare suite that helps the ship’s crew to counter and neutralize high-velocity and complex saturation attacks by continuously analyzing and optimizing the tactical environment and deployment of resources. This integrated radar and fire control system combines the information from several sensors, including radars.

The new sensor suite uses Thales’ latest technology based on the APAR Block 2 X-band and the SM400 Block 2 S-band radars integrated in a one-radar system that is able to reconfigure its tasks dynamically.

In addition to AWWS, Thales supplies the Mirador Mk2 electro-optical fire control sensor, the Gatekeeper Mk2 electro-optic observation sensor, the Scout Mk3 low detectability naval surveillance radar as well as an extensive logistic support package.

The first ship will be operational in 2029. The ASW frigates will replace the Belgian and Netherlands’ multi-purpose frigates of the Karel Doorman class that are reaching the end of their lifecycle.

The ships will operate in a complex multi-mission environment, with anti-submarine warfare as their main task. The frigates need to be able to independently defend themselves and other units with a state-of-the-art fire control system as above water threats are exponentially increasing in complexity, coordination and speed.

Thales systems, cyber-protected by design, will protect the Dutch and Belgium frigates from sophisticated threats such as hypervelocity missiles and swarm attacks.