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Description of the radar set, tactical-technical characteristics

Figure 1: Thales Searchmaster AESA surveillance radar at IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi, (United Arab Emirates)
(© 2015 Maksymilian Dura www.defence24.pl)

frequency: X-band
pulse repetition time (PRT):
pulse repetition frequency (PRF):
pulsewidth (τ):
receiving time:
dead time:
peak power:
average power:
instrumented range:
range resolution:
hits per scan:
antenna rotation:


Searchmaster is an X-band multirole surveillance radar using an active electronically scanned array (AESA) It meets all the surveillance requirements of five mission types: anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, maritime surveillance, ground surveillance and tactical air support. Searchmaster has been derived from the company’s RBE2 radar, which equips the Dassault Rafale combat aircraft.

The key benefits of high-performance radar are extended range, 360° coverage, electronic scanning in the vertical plane for simultaneous short-range and long-range surveillance, and continuous detection in harsh environmental conditions. It meets the requirements of airborne surface, ground and air surveillance missions. Thanks to its compact, lightweight design (approximately 75 kg), it is easy to install and integrate with a system. It is suitable for MALE (medium altitude, long endurance) UAVs, medium-tonnage or heavy-lift mission helicopters and mission aircraft (turboprop or jet-engined), providing all these platforms with multi-mission capabilities. In addition, the introduction of AESA technology, coupled with innovative concepts of integrated maintenance, pushes down maintenance costs and improves operational availability.

Searchmaster has been selected by the French defense procurement agency (DGA) for the French Navy’s upgraded Atlantique 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft.