SEA LION roars via Rohde & Schwarz communications
Rohde & Schwarz software defined airborne radios to equip German Navy NH90 helicopters.
The NH90 Sea LION helicopter recently completed a series of demonstrations for the German Navy, covering search and rescue and navy reconnaissance missions, and delivery of Special Forces equipment. The German Navy has 18 Airbus Helicopters NH90 Sea LION aircraft on order to replace the aging Sea KING Mk.41s, with first deliveries scheduled for the end of 2019.
Rohde & Schwarz equips the rotorcraft with software defined airborne radios (SDR) of the SOVERON family including national cryptology. Each aircraft is fitted with three VHF/UHF transceivers R&S M3AR MR6000A plus spares.
Rohde & Schwarz is the only provider of military airborne radios that meet the civil aviation certification requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Military aircraft can only be certified and operated without restrictions when they fulfil both military and civil requirements.
The R&S M3AR MR6000A airborne transceiver uses state-of-the-art communications methods that were standardized throughout NATO, including the fast frequency-hopping technique SATURN (Second Generation of Anti-Jam Tactical UHF Radio for NATO), as well as embedded NATO cryptology. The airborne SDR has been SECAN and BSI certified to allow secure communications up to NATO SECRET.
Particularly for naval applications, the R&S M3AR MR6000A provides interfaces for connecting external devices such as an automatic direction finder (ADF), a Link 11 data terminal set (DTS), an improved data modem (IDM) or an external encryption device and guards the naval distress frequency.
“The NH90 Sea LION carries improved communications equipment, which means that this military helicopter will also be able to operate in civil air space,” says Stefan Pleyer, Vice President Market Segment Avionics, Rohde & Schwarz. “This means that the NH90 can be used in international air space under all conditions. Almost 8,000 SDRs from the R&S M3AR airborne transceiver family are in use worldwide on over 70 different airborne platforms.”
As a member of the SOVERON family, the R&S M3AR MR6000A covers a frequency range from 30-400 Megahertz. The high transmit power of 20W/30W (AM/FM mode) ensures a long range, even in poor weather conditions or when flying at low levels. The extremely robust transceiver is accommodated in an ARINC 600 housing and offers outstanding RF parameters, such as high sensitivity and large-signal immunity. The R&S M3AR MR6000A is highly immune to radiated interference (e.g. from powerful broadcast transmitters or radar equipment) and to cosmic radiation. It contains filters to suppress shortwave and VHF interference as well as interfering signals in the same frequency band (co-site operation).
The airborne transceiver supports various standards such as ED‑23B, ICAO Annex 10, STANAG 4204 and STANAG 4205 for fixed frequency/ATC operation, STANAG 4246 for HAVE QUICK and STANAG 4372 for SATURN EPM communications as well as STANAG 5511 and MIL‑STD‑188‑203-1A for LINK 11 operation.