Growing operational demand has spurred development of radars that can detect unmanned air systems.
Israel Aerospace Industries was recently awarded a contract for advanced dual-use civilian and military airspace control and protection radars by an undisclosed customer.
The contract is a good indicator of many coutries’ changing operational needs. The air defence radar configuration included in the package consists of the ELM-2288 AD-STAR air Defence and traffic control radar and the ELM-2106NG 3D tactical air defence radar.
Both systems are designed and manufactured by IAI’s Elta Systems subsidiary. The configuration was tailored to the customer’s specific requirements and terrain topography.
The AD-STAR ELM-2288MR (medium-range variant) is an advanced 3D solid-state long-range S-band family of mobile radars designed to support air defence, early warning and traffic control activities. Featuring full digital beam forming in elevation, the AD-STAR provides high accuracy 3D data on detected targets at ranges exceeding 162nm (300km).
The ELM-2106NG is IAI-Elta’s fourth-generation 3D tactical air defence radar. Designed to detect a wide variety of flying platforms, including low-level high-speed fighters, hovering helicopters, low-velocity ultralight aircraft and UAS, the radar can pick up targets at ranges up to 43nm.
The Israeli air force is facing a growing threat from UAS used by armed groups, mainly in Lebanon.
Since 2006, Hezbollah has made repeated attempts to use Iranian-manufactured UAS, mainly for reconnaissance missions from Lebanon over northern Israel. The Israeli air force has shot them all down.
An Israeli source said on March 24 that more and more countries want the capability to detect UAS approaching their airspace.