Covering airspaces in eastern Europe – the gap has to be closed, and fast

The airspaces of some countries in eastern Europe are getting more attention now, as the Russia-Ukraine crisis reaches a new peak.

The Russian troop buildup on the Ukrainian border represents an increased threat of invasion by President Vladimir Putin’s army, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday.

US and NATO officials say there are now about 20,000 Russian troops massed just east of Ukraine’s border. The US also says Russia is continuing to train and equip separatists battling Ukraine’s government.

Russia has repeatedly rejected Ukrainian and Western claims that there is a military buildup on the border.

Now there is a growing interest from some of the region’s countries in tools to help them control what is going on in their airspace.

Some of these countries  currently have very limited capacities in this respect, and they are urgently seeking solutions.

This has led to growing interest in the dual-use family of Multi-Mission Radars (MMR) developed by Elta, a subidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

This MMR family offers integrated capabilities covering air defence, surveillance, threat alert and air traffic control. The Israeli company says it provides an affordable, mission-specific solution.

These advanced radars can give accurate 3D data on detected targets, initiating automatic tracking. A secondary surveillance radar can be integrated to perform synchronized detection, interrogation, decoding and tracking.

The situation in eastern Europe is causing concern in some counties in the region. A  source at Elta said on 7 August that these countries are looking at the “developing situation” and are aware that they need more sensors in order to be ready for new threats. Some have already asked for proposals.

In Israel the main radars covering the country’s airspace and beyond are operated by the air force, with civil controllers present. This system may fit the requirements of some of the countries that understand  the sensors they currently operate  are now not enough to get the data they require about an evolving situation.

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