Friday, February 23, 2024

The Luftwaffe tests Hensoldt's Twinvis passive radar in real conditions

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The Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, is testing the Twinvis passive radar, developed by the Hensoldt company, in real conditions, to determine its effectiveness and its ability to integrate into the detection device in charge of monitoring the German skies.

In 2019, the passive radar from the German company Hensoldt made the headlines of many specialized sites. Indeed, an article published by the site, renowned for its seriousness, revealed a very juicy anecdote about it, but above all, which concerned the F-35.

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Hensoldt's Twinvis passive radar challenges F-35 stealth in 2018

According to the American site, the two F-35As dispatched by the US Air Force and Lockheed-Martin to participate in the Berlin Air Show a year earlier, had been forced to remain in static demonstration on the ground for the entire duration of the show, so even though Berlin had discreetly started negotiations to acquire the device.

In question, a test carried out by the German electronics manufacturer and radar specialist Hensoldt, concerning its new passive radar Twinvis. It would, in fact, have managed to follow the two stealth planes (but probably equipped with radar reflectors to integrate with air navigation), throughout the duration of the transit flight over Germany.

Hensoldt Twinvis passive radar
The Twinvis uses mobile antennas that can be arranged opaquely across the electromagnetic spectrum, for optimized detection capabilities.

Worse, the American planes would never have been aware of having been detected by this system throughout the flight. And for good reason ! As its designation indicates, the Twinvis is a passive radar, that is to say, it did not emit, of its own, any electromagnetic signal likely to be detected and identified by the fighter's powerful electronic warfare system. American.

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Whether or not this detection was at the origin of the absence of a flight demonstration of the F-35 during the 2018 Berlin Air Show, this information made the Twinvis famous, and took Hensoldt for a while, and the technology passive radars, at the forefront.

The Twinvis in service with the Luftwaffe

Since then, it is clear that the German electronics manufacturer has remained rather discreet on the subject, and that he has never repeated this type of resounding declarations, which probably provoked the anger of the United States.

However, the development of the Twinvis has not stopped, quite the contrary. The system and its performance had obviously convinced the Luftwaffe, the German air force.

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Indeed, the Twinvis is now operational and tested in real conditions by the Luftwaffe, according to information obtained by the American site Defensenews , during an interview with Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz.

esoace aerial radar germany hensoldt Flash Defense | Germany | Defense Contracts and Calls for Tenders
Radar surveillance of German skies (Hensoldt image)

According to the German general officer, the objective of the current tests, which would only concern a single system, would be to determine to what extent the Twinvis radar is capable of providing additional relevant information to the detection systems used for monitor German airspace, and in particular be able to detect and track aircraft seeking to go unnoticed by them.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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