Radar RAT-31DL: an important step forward for Austria’s security

08 September 2020

The Austrian Air Force’s new 3D Long Range FADR (RAT-31DL) radar has successfully passed Factory Acceptance Testing in a new configuration that involves the introduction of a new processor updated to meet today’s standards. The new system replaces the previous apparatus supplied to Austria under a midlife upgrading programme for the network of aerial surveillance systems, which also includes updating according to the new NATO Mode 5 level 2 recognition system.

The Austrian Air Force can now count on two different surveillance systems supplied by Leonardo: a model FADR (RAT-31DL), delivered in 2002, and a mobile version of the same system serving as a backup, the DADR (RAT-31DL/M). 

Following tests conducted at Leonardo’s Borgo Sabotino site in Latina, in July 2020, the new FADR was shipped to Kolomannsberg, Austria, for installation on a tower adjacent to the old system, where it will begin operation by the end of the year. 

This initial update will be followed by upgrading two other FADR systems in a NATO/ITALY configuration. 

This milestone represents another step forward in a partnership with the Austrian government for air defence which began in the 1980s with the first three-dimensional radar, the RAT-31S, produced by what used to be SELENIA. The long-term partnership has brought reciprocal satisfaction and a strong synergy leading to achievement of Europe’s highest standards. It continued in the 1990s with a successful programme for modernisation of the RAT-31S system. The first decade of the 21st century saw the introduction of the RAT-31DL, followed by the supply of the RAT31DL/M on a self-erecting tower, leading to this new milestone representing an important step forward for the defence of Austria and Europe. 

Pursuing the goal of ongoing research into innovations that can improve the efficiency of the systems, the new FADR also features a new function for detecting hovering helicopters with Moving Target Detector (MTD) filtering.