Quick Facts

Role and Mobility Long-Range Air and Surface Surveillance and Target Designation; Fixed and Ship- and Road-Mobile
Frequency L-Band
Range 480km for Air Defense and 2000km for Ballistic Missile Defense
Air Defense Interceptor Systems N/A
Targets Manned and Unmanned Air Breathing Targets, Stealth Targets, and Ballistic Missiles
Status/Exports In Production/None
Producer Thales Nederland


SMART-L Early Warning Capability (EWC) is a fully digitally controlled Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) type of radar in production by Thales Nederland for the Dutch military. The 3D Long Range Surveillance radar uses Gallium Nitride (GaN) transmitter technology paired with Dual Axis Multibeam receiver technology to detect manned and unmanned air breathing targets (ABT), stealth targets, and ballistic missile targets.[i] SMART-L EWC has a tracking range of 2000 km for ballistic missile defense and 480 km for air defense.[ii]

Strategic Implications

When the SMART-L EWC is operational, it can be installed on land-based locations, on sea, and is available as a Deployable Air Defense Radar (DADR). SMART-L EWC is notable because of the versatility in its capabilities. While traditional radar systems’ functionality remains the same throughout its lifespan, SMART-L EWC can evolve with the threats. Additional capabilities can be introduced during its lifetime depending on individual needs, making it “future-proof.[iii]


 May 2017: Thales tests SMART-L EWC radar ahead of lead ship set delivery[iv]

April 2015: Thales to supply SMART-L EWC radars and services to Dutch military[v]

Recent News


[i] https://www.thalesgroup.com/sites/default/files/asset/document/smart-l-ewc-v01.pdf

[ii] https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/worldwide/defence/smart-l-ewc

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] http://www.janes.com/article/70400/thales-tests-smart-l-mm-n-bmd-radar-ahead-of-lead-ship-set-delivery

[v] https://www.airforce-technology.com/uncategorised/newsthales-to-supply-smart-l-ewc-radars-and-services-to-dutch-military-4561611/

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