Passive detection systems are gaining popularity in areas where the active ones are easy prey to even a not so advanced aerial force.
They are being referred to as “gap fillers” but this definition may not be one that really describes them. The passive detection systems, in many shapes and definitions, are about to get a new boost.
Israel, as a country under everyday threats, has developed some passive detection systems . Some are still classified but recently the Elta division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has presented “tailored” versions of its EL/L-8388 passive radar to different countries that want to upgrade their air defense systems.
The EL/L-8388 functions as a 3D ESM/ELINT surveillance system, and operated usually alongside active radars.
The system acts as passive detection radar that creates a three-dimensional situation picture by providing location and dynamic tracking of airborne emitters. According to Igo Licht, Elta’s director of marketing, the passive air situation system also offers improved identification and better ranging capability, with its improved penetration of low altitude clutter.
Being a passive system, it is also less vulnerable to anti-radiation attacks. It must be said that a passive radar is not a direct substitute for an active radar but the equilibrium has shifted. This is a logical process, if we look at the new platforms that could end up in the hands of terrorist organisations as well as conventional forces.
Licht confirms that there is an export deal for the system but does not identify the client.
The interest in these systems is growing in parallel with the increasing number of anti-radiation weapons systems. Passive in some cases is the fine line between life and death.