Kelvin Hughes

Situational Intelligence, The World Over

Kelvin Hughes History


Kelvin Hughes has a proud and enviable history dating back over 250 years tracing its roots back to Thomas Hughes a Master of the Clock-makers Company and William Thomson who became Lord Kelvin a prolific inventor and one of the world’s greatest scientists.

Few companies can boast a history as varied and intriguing as Kelvin Hughes. In this section you can find detailed information covering the "250 years in the making" programme. A series of downloads are being produced covering the unique and diverse topics of significant periods of the company, its founders and time periods.

Always the market innovator for radar sensors and systems, Kelvin Hughes has an unprecedented list of technology firsts, from the first type approved radar in 1948 to today the world’s first commercially available, affordable and multipurpose solid state radar for maritime navigation, port vessel traffic services, coastal surveillance and ground and marine security applications.

2013 SharpEye™ SxV launched, the world’s first 360 degree X-Band pulse Doppler radar for ground surveillance and marine security applications.
2013 SharpEye™ upmast carbon composite multipurpose navigation radar, the first radar of its type to produce the sensor housing and turning unit from a carbon composite material and also adopt a stealth or low RCS design to compliment modern day ships design techniques.
2011 SharpEye™ SCV the world’s first small boat situational awareness Doppler surveillance radar, providing capital ship capability to small watercraft.
2010 Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) and coastal surveillance the first to bring solid state radar technology to these markets.
2006 SharpEye™ solid state radar is born. The launch of the first commercially available and affordable solid state radar.
2006 First widescreen bridge system and radar display called MantaDigital™.
1988 First colour radar (raster scan and naval CTD).
1971 First navigational chart tracing service.
1956 First slotted waveguide array.
1947 First commercial radar.

The videos below highlight the history and development of Kelvin Hughes and mark the move from 100 years of manufacturing in Hainault, Essex to the new modern manufacturing and development premises in Enfield, London.

In the image galleries historical photos can be found of past equipment, operations, people, product advertisements and technical documentation.