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COBRA – Weapon Locating System


FR COBRA System during Life Fire Trials in Canjuers (©FR Armee)

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. An In-Service Support contract with ESG, initiated in 2013 and renewed at the end of 2022, covers all COBRA ISS related activities until the end of 2025. 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.

DE COBRA System during military exercise (©Bundeswehr/Maximilian Schulz)

Figure 2: DE COBRA System during military exercise (©Bundeswehr/Maximilian Schulz)

DE COBRA System during military exercise (©Bundeswehr/Maximilian Schulz)

Figure 3: DE COBRA System during military exercise (©Bundeswehr/Maximilian Schulz)

COBRA Participating States
COBRA sketch

COBRA Technical Information

  • Self-contained Configuration:

    Single cross-country vehicle chosen by User. No levelling or stabilisation jacks required. Integrated Artillery C3 equipment – automatic reports to higher command.

  • Navigation/coverage:

    COBRA INU error is less than 10 metres in 20 kilometres. INU also provides antenna attitude information.

  • Antenna Technology:

    Fully-active phased array; Electronic scanning in azimuth and elevation (phase/phase); 2780 T/R modules containing MMICs

  • Antenna Sector:

    Electronic scan 90°, within available 270°

  • Processing:

    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

  • Range:

    Detection range is up to 100 km. Detection coverage is 90 degrees out to 100+ kilometres, corresponding to 7800 km².

  • Shelter:

    Shell fragment protection using Aramid Laminat layer

  • Air Conditioner:

    Controlled air temperature with available gas, chemical and particle filtration (NBC).

  • Power supply:

    Diesel generator, 47 kVA

For further information about the COBRA Programme, please contact the Programme Division or the Prime Contractor.
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OCCAR-EA COBRA Programme Division

Postfach 2107
D-53011 Bonn


ESG Elektroniksystem und Logistik GmbH

Livry-Gargan-Straße 6
D - 82256 Fürstenfeldbruck