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Saab Global

How Saab’s Sea Giraffe AMB was selected for six classes of U.S ships

3 min read

With radars selected for six classes of U.S. ships, Saab's Sea Giraffe is truly the go-to naval radar for the U.S. Navy. Jay Abendroth, head of Saab's U.S. Sensor Division, gives his view on the key to Saab’s U.S. success.

Hear Jay Abendroth, head of Saab's U.S. Sensor Division, summarise the key to Saab's success with Sea Giraffe AMB on the U.S. market.

Saab's Sea Giraffe radars are currently part of three separate U.S. military and homeland security programmes and on or under contract to be aboard six classes of U.S. ships. It all started in 2006 when the U.S. initially selected Sea Giraffe AMB for the first two Independence class Littoral Combat Ships, which are now in operation.

"We delivered these first two systems for the Littoral Combat Ship on time, and have been building credibility by providing excellent service after they were commissioned", Abendroth explains. "Saab invests heavily in its products with in-house research and development programs to ensure that our products are current and up to date while offering shorter delivery times compared to competitors. By offering mature products at the start of programs, Saab is able to get products to the field faster with fewer changes."

Supporting the U.S. Navy's air traffic control needs

The radars in the AN/SPN-50 programme will support the air-marshalling mission on the ships, ensuring air traffic safety at sea. Safety requirements on the technology for air traffic are rigorous, which calls for very reliable radar equipment, with extra redundancy to provide backup if something should go wrong.

Reducing timelines

“Our radar is now selected for six classes of U.S. military and homeland security ships”, Abendroth continues. He explains that part of the key to this success is that Saab works openly with the customer, allowing them to understand how the radar meets their specific requirements. Having proven technology and the ability to scale up production is another important factor.

“With this success, Saab is in a unique position to offer better affordability and reduced delivery timelines to our customer due to our active production. The current and future deployments of these radars also mean users can take advantage of a shared logistics footprint which reduces operational costs.”

Transfer of technology

Transfer of technology forms a key part of Saab’s offer and the company is creating a number of domestic markets outside of Sweden. This is dually beneficial for Saab and the customer. In the U.S., this means the products develop in line with the end user’s requirements, support local industry and create jobs, while Saab is able to expand its market base.

Sea Giraffe AMB is in use or is selected for the following U.S. ships

Sea Giraffe AMB multi-role surveillance variant (AN/SPS-77)

  • U.S. Navy’s Independence class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)

Sea Giraffe AMB shipboard air traffic radar variant (AN/SPN-50)

  • U.S. Navy’s Nimitz class aircraft carrier (CVN)
  • U.S. Navy’s Wasp class amphibious assault ship (LHD)
  • U.S. Navy’s America class amphibious assault ship (LHA)

Sea Giraffe AMB Multi Mode Radar (MMR) variant

  • Hershel Wilson Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB-4) class ship, operated by the U.S. Military Sealift Command
  • U.S. Coast Guard's Heritage offshore patrol cutter

U.S. Navy´s Independence Class Littoral Combat Ships