India is to purchase from Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) subsidiary Elta several phased-array radars to be carried by tethered balloons.

The radar will be downsized versions of Elta's Green Pine system, which was developed for the IAI Arrow anti-tactical ballistic missile system. India recently received a single ground-based Green Pine (Flight International, 9-15 July).

India will use the systems to bolster its early warning capability along its border with Pakistan. The balloon-carried configuration will give a constant detection capability against aerial targets.

Pakistan is proposing to acquire six Lockheed Martin Aerostat balloon-mounted radars.

Rafael will supply the balloons, capable of carrying the 3,000kg Elta systems, to India and will also act as prime contractor.

The balloon version of Green Pine is Elta's first attempt at using its phased-array technology in downsized systems.

Meanwhile, the Israeli air force is deploying a second Arrow system in central Israel. The move is the result of the growing tension between Iraq and the USA. Iraq is expected to target Israel with its Scud tactical ballistic missiles during the first phase of any hostilities.

The Arrow battery is being located in Ein Shemer, north-east of Tel Aviv. The Green Pine radar has been deployed with other elements to follow shortly.

n The Israeli air force is to modify some older Boeing F-15A/B/C/Ds and Lockheed Martin F-16s as alternative platforms for heavy guided weapons, such as the Rafael/Lockheed Martin Popeye/AGM-142 Have Nap, now carried by ageing McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms.

The air force's upgraded F-4-2000 will remain in service until the end of the decade, but work has started to make the more modern aircraft into suitable platforms.

Source: Flight International