Threat detection upgrades coming to Halifax-class

Halifax MP Andy Fillmore speaks during an announcement regarding upgrades to the Sea Giraffe radar system on Halifax-class frigates. The event was held on board HMCS Ville de Quebec on December 7.

Upgrade announced for Halifax-class threat detection systems

By Ryan Melanson,
Trident Staff

New radar equipment soon to be installed on Halifax-class frigates will allow for better detection and faster response when dealing with incoming threats at sea, says the Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic.

The upgrade will add a new electronically-stabilized antenna set to the Sea Giraffe 180 radar currently installed on the ships. The federal government announced the news, along with the $21.7 million contract to procure the equipment from Saab Microwave Canada, during a press conference aboard HMCS Charlottetown on December 7.

“When we’re out on the water, we have to be very concerned about other aircraft and ships that are out there, and if a missile ever gets fired at us, the ability to detect that missile and have a reaction ready is critical to saving the ship. This equipment will allow us to do that much more efficiently,” said RAdm Craig Baines, Commander MARLANT and JTFA.

“We know the Canadian Navy needs to modernize to be able to face modern-day threats. Getting this new piece of equipment will help us do that.”
The new antenna will increase the range of the existing radar from 150 to 180 kilometres and provide the crew with more data, includings elevation levels and the surrounding environment for any incoming potential threats.

Dave Monahan, DND’s Project Manager for the Halifax-class Modernization Frigate Life Extension, said the first installation should take place in 2021 on Ville de Quebec.

“Once we prove the system, we’ll carry on with the remaining ships as they enter their docking work periods,” he added. The initial $21.7 million contract with Saab includes the option to purchase 12 more antenna sets for the fleet, which would bring the total up to $97.5 million.

The announcement was also attended by government representatives, including Halifax MP Andy Fillmore, Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP Darren Fisher, and Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook MP Darrell Samson.

“Our modernized Halifax-class Frigates safeguard and protect Canada’s waters, and they contribute to peace and security around the world,” Fillmore said.

“This upgrade to one of the critical sensor systems will allow them to keep doing that work, and allow the Sea Giraffe system to remain functional until the end of the life of the ships.