Israeli company's 737 demonstrates assortment of systems for variety of applications

Israel Aircraft Industries' Elta division is demonstrating its Boeing 737 radar testbed at the show. The aircraft is carrying a variety of the company's systems, including the Flight Guard commercial aircraft missile protection system.

Baruch Reshef, Elta deputy director marketing and sales, says the testbed has been used to demonstrate and develop systems for more than 20 years. Systems on board include those for maritime patrol, signals intelligence (SIGINT), image intelligence using the company's synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technologies, and airborne early warning (AEW). Reshef says the flying laboratory is not equipped with Elta's Phalcon AEW system, but has an operator console demonstrating its functionality.

The aircraft's maritime patrol capability was demonstrated during the capture in January last year of the Karine A, a freighter suspected of smuggling weapons. The aircraft's long-range systems, including SAR and inverse SAR, can identify ships and track vessels.

An IAI source says Flight Guard is commercial aviation's "first anti-missile system" and that it is in-service on more than 150 aircraft, including military fighters, transports and helicopters as well as VIP-configured aircraft. The source adds that Flight Guard is a proven system, having been used in anger.

The system has six miniaturised Elta pulse-Doppler sensors behind the radome and in the tail providing 360° coverage, flare dispensers and a cockpit control box. Dispensers will usually be fitted in the wing-fuselage fairing - providing a minimum drag configuration without requiring holes to be cut in the pressure hull, says the source.

Although the radar is a radiating system it does not present a hazard to the aircraft, says the source, because of its low power emission.

To overcome safety concerns, the flares burn for 2-3s, leaving only a gas with no solid or liquid residue. The Israel Military Industries-developed flares measure 25 x 25 x 200mm (1 x 1 x 8in) and require minimal maintenance.

The source says the system should have Israeli civil aviation authority certification by year-end and that the process is being shadowed by the US Federal Aviation Administration.


Source: Flight International