The Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Utilization of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) announced on Twitter that the NATO Support and Procurement Agency NSPA on behalf of BAAINBw has agreed to deliver a third RAT 31 DL/M mobile radar device with the Italian weapons company Leonardo. The Air Force has been operating two radars of the same type under the designation VERALÜ (Deployable Radar Airspace Monitoring) for more than a decade.
Radar Avvistamento Terrestre (RAT, Ground Reconnaissance Radar) was developed by Selex Sistemi Integrati, later acquired by Leonardo. It is an active phased 3D radar in the L band (1 – 2 GHz). According to the description of the Bundeswehr, the device provides a detection range of up to 400 km and covers airspace up to an altitude of about 33 km. In azimuth rotate the antenna at six revolutions per minute. Elevation is achieved by e-beam steering. Maximum transmission power – 46 kW.
In the portable version, the antenna is collapsible. All elements of the radar system are housed in two 20-foot ISO containers for transportation and can also be transported by plane. This means that the devices can be used all over the world.
The devices can replace permanently installed radars in compensation mode, for example during maintenance periods. This was the main task in the beginning. According to the Bundeswehr, since 2015, radars have been used as “eyes” for tactical command centers (CRC, Control and Reporting Center) of the Air Force during exercises and operations. This included deployments to the Baltics and Iraq (Counter Dish) as well as radar image compression during the G7 summit in Elmau.