Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta Systems subsidiary has completed the initial design of an airborne joint surveillance and attack radar system, based on the Gulfstream G550 business jet.

Elta has for "some years" been working on a synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indication system that will provide good quality imagery, says director of marketing Igo Licht.

The demand from potential customers is to also add communications, electronic and signals intelligence capabilities, he says. "Such a system will also include an electro-optical payload and a sensor fusion system that will supply the commanders with a full ground picture," he adds.

The manned platform could also in "the not so far future" be accompanied by unmanned air vehicles carrying SAR/GMTI payloads to cover a larger area, Licht believes. Elta manufactures smaller versions of its radars and other sensors suitable for all sizes of UAV.

Elta is already offering versions of the G550 configured for the airborne early warning and signals intelligence missions (below), with examples already operational with the air forces of Israel and Singapore.

 G550 specials - IAI
© Israel Aerospace Industries

Its work to also offer a ground surveillance variant stems from a military demand to maintain an up-to-date ground picture from stand-off range.

Source: Flight International