COBRA - COunter Battery RAdar - advanced Weapon Locating System
Figure 1: FR COBRA System during Life Fire Trials in Canjuers (©FR Armee)
Location of weapon systems, registration and adjustment of friendly firings, creation of battlefield data and communication with battle forces - COBRA is a singularly effective force on the battlefield, performing rapidly and accurately.
COBRA (COunter Battery RAdar) is a cooperative long-range battlefield radar programme between Germany and France. COBRA radar systems are in service since 2005 and deliveries were completed in 2007. Since 2013, an In-Service Support contract with ESG is in place. This contract will expire at the end of 2022. Furthermore, a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the NATO Support and Procurement Organisation (NSPO) for a range of logistic support services is in place. The OCCAR-EA COBRA Programme Division manages the In-Service Support Phase. Further system improvements including obsolescence rectifications (Mid-Life Update) started in 2019 to extend the life cycle of the systems.
COBRA is considered the world's most advanced land based weapon locating system, comprising a high performance radar, advanced processing and an integrated, flexible command, control and communication system. The design includes state-of-the-art digital processing and an advanced active, solid-state phased array antenna comprising several thousand transmit/receive modules.
The COBRA mission is to locate mortars, rocket launchers and artillery batteries and to provide information for countering their effectiveness. With a detection range up to 100 km COBRA is capable of locating and classifying up to 40 batteries in two minutes. It will also be able to monitor breaches of cease-fire when deployed in a peace-keeping role.
Figure 2: DE COBRA System during military exercise (©Bundeswehr/Maximilian Schulz)
Figure 3: DE COBRA System during military exercise (©Bundeswehr/Maximilian Schulz)
COBRA Technical Information
Single cross-country vehicle chosen by User. No levelling or stabilisation jacks required. Integrated Artillery C3 equipment – automatic reports to higher command.
COBRA INU error is less than 10 metres in 20 kilometres. INU also provides antenna attitude information. Detection Coverage is 90 Degrees out to >40 kilometres, corresponding to 1200 Km2.
Fully-active phased array; Electronic scanning in azimuth and elevation (phase/phase); 2780 T/R modules containing MMICs
Electronic scan 90°, within available 270°
Agility in waveform and frequency (C-band)
Digital pulse compression / doppler filtering
Clutter map, CFAR and censor map
Target recognition – weapon classification
Battery location, Impact locations, Battery width and orientation
Priority of weapons and area
Rate of acquisition greater than 240 weapons in less than 2 minutes
More than 40 kilometres
Shell fragment protection using Aramid Laminat layer
Controlled air temperature with available gas, chemical and particle filtration (NBC).
Diesel generator, 47 kVA
The first 6 years of COBRA In-Service Support (ISS) were performed by the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s Industry Consortium. Following a competition in 2012, the COBRA ISS contract was newly awarded to ESG GmbH.
In the course of the technical certification for a new German protected carrier vehicle for the COBRA system, the OCCAR COBRA Programme Division is currently supporting the approval process of dynamic driving characteristic tests at the German Technical Center for Land Systems (WTD41) in Trier.