Enabling anti-rocket/missile defence in saturated airspace

The problem is huge – and growing. The stakes are high – and growing. The complexity is almost unpredicted – and growing.

All the above describes the situation in which a country has to defend itself from rockets, long range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, attacking aircraft and armed unmanned air vehicles – and all while passenger and cargo aircraft continue to fly in and out on schedule.

Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 – all these are systems that launch projectiles designed to defend Israel from the above-mentioned threats.

The problem is twofold – how to use such a multi-layered defence system efficiently, and how to enable the coexistence of civil aviation in an area that is so heavily defended.

Rafael, a leading Israeli developer of advanced defence systems, took the challenge, and what it offers now is its Modular Integrated C4I (MIC4AD) system, which is supposed to put all the elements in order, kill the right target efficiently and still allow air traffic to move in the skies with minimum disturbance.

When rockets and missiles are launched against you and you operate a variety of defence systems, you need a unified air situation picture at all times – and that is exactly what the Israeli company is trying to do.

Despite all the security restrictions, it can be said that MIC4AD can be used as a decision-support tool or to allocate the optimal defence system automatically, when the time from detection to hit is measured in seconds.

Rafael designed MIC4AD based on an operational concept that takes into account several defence circles. It exploits offline resources (databases, digital terrain models,and intelligence) and real-time data (radar, identification friend or foe systems), all connected to the air traffic control overlook and to the mission planning system. Together they build a national air situation picture.

MIC4AD’s powerful correlation engine collects data from multiple sensors/platforms (radars, datalink and electro-optics) and delivers a real-time, unified, coherent tactical picture.

MIC4AD also performs threat assessments and provides hostile target classification, interception plans and effective command of the weapon system launching process.

Both the problem and the solution are now Israeli, but reading intelligence reports that are published in other countries creates the impression that this problem may sooner or later be shared by other nations.

The proliferation of rockets has made it the preferred weapon of many terror organisations.

The huge interest, some of it low-profile, in the Israeli-developed Iron Dome rocket interceptor is an indication that experts have started to understand the quickly proliferating threat.

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