BAE Systems has unveiled a technology mast demonstrator designed for future warships, required to meet increasingly complex operational demands. The mast is a critical component of a modern warship and the technology mast demonstrator has been designed to combine long-range radar, numerous high power sensors and communications antennae and equipment in a way that minimises mutual interference.
Other advantages of the mast are that it is light, tall, yet almost invisible (stealthy) to an enemy radar and offers the customer a low maintenance, easy to upgrade solution. The completely integrated unit is an excellent example of the radar, communication, design and shipbuilding skills. This technology has been developed as a private venture by the company, in keeping with the MoD's Smart Procurement approach.
The new mast is designed to form a key component of the ship's upper superstructure. It comprises a steel substructure clad in advanced Fibre Reinforced Plastic composite panels, which incorporate radar-absorbing layers. Sensors are installed in interchangeable modules mounted within the cladding. The philosophy of this mast is intended to support future surface warship designs and retrofit to existing ships.