Al­most In­vin­ci­ble – Is­rael’s Air De­fence

Iron Dome is the only dual mis­sion counter rocket, ar­tillery and mor­tar (C-RAM) and Very Short Range Air De­fense (VSHORAD) sys­tem

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ABLOG OF IS­RAEL’S DE­FENCE Forces (IDF) men­tions how Is­raelis are reg­u­larly threat­ened by rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. Ha­mas and other ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions launch mor­tars, rock­ets and mis­siles to­wards Is­raelis cities. Since 2001, more than 15,200 rock­ets and mor­tars, an av­er­age of over 3 rocket at­tacks ev­ery sin­gle day, have tar­geted Is­rael. Ha­mas, the rul­ing en­tity of the Gaza Strip, is re­spon­si­ble for most of the rocket fire on Is­raeli pop­u­la­tion cen­tres. The or­gan­i­sa­tion – which is rec­og­nized by the US, UK, EU and Is­rael as a ter­ror­ist group – has been in­creas­ing the size and ca­pa­bil­i­ties of its rocket arse­nal, the blog men­tions.

Twice since 2005, the IDF has been forced to launch ma­jor op­er­a­tions in re­sponse to heavy rocket fire on Is­rael’s civil­ians. The most re­cent, Op­er­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge, be­gan af­ter con­tin­ual and re­lent­less rocket at­tacks on Is­raeli cities since the be­gin­ning of 2014.

Op­er­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge – 2014

On July 7, 2014, the IDF launched Op­er­a­tion Pro­tec­tive Edge in or­der to re­store quiet to the re­gion and stop Ha­mas ter­ror­ism. The sin­gle goal of the op­er­a­tion is to stop Ha­mas in­ces­sant rocket at­tacks against Is­rael’s civil­ians. Since the start of the op­er­a­tion, over 1,000 rock­ets have been launched at Is­rael. Of those, 754 have hit Is­rael and ap­prox­i­mately 201 were in­ter­cepted by the Iron Dome Mis­sile de­fence sys­tem, states the blog.

In this ar­ti­cle, we fea­ture how Is­rael has used tech­nol­ogy to thwart at­tacks on the coun­try. In 2004, the idea for Iron Dome gained mo­men­tum with the in­stal­la­tion of Brig. Gen­eral Daniel Gold as the head of the re­search and devel­op­ment bureau of the Is­rael De­fense Forces (IDF). In Fe­bru­ary 2007, De­fense Min­is­ter Amir Peretz se­lected Iron Dome as Is­rael’s de­fen­sive so­lu­tion to this short-range rocket threat. Since then, the $210 mil­lion sys­tem has been de­vel­oped by Rafael Ad­vanced De­fense Sys­tems work­ing jointly with the IDF.

Rafael’s Iron Dome

Iron Dome is the only dual mis­sion counter rocket, ar­tillery and mor­tar (C-RAM) and very short-range air de­fence (VSHORAD) sys­tem. Iron Dome is an af­ford­able, effective and in­no­va­tive de­fence so­lu­tion (CR&AM Class) to the asym­met­ric threats of short­range rock­ets, (up to and over 70 km), and mor­tars as well as VSHORAD Mis­siles Sys­tem (up to 10 km) against tra­di­tional Air De­fense tar­gets.

It has been se­lected by the Is­raeli De­fense Min­istry to pro­vide the low­est layer of Is­rael multi-lay­ered air & mis­siles de­fence um­brella. The sys­tem was cho­sen as the best sys­tem, of­fer­ing the most com­pre­hen­sive de­fence so­lu­tion from a range of threats, in rel­a­tively short devel­op­ment cy­cle and low cost-per-kill.

Iron Dome is an ad­vanced de­fence sys­tem, de­signed for quick de­tec­tion, dis­crim­i­na­tion and in­ter­cep­tion of rock­ets & mor­tar threats with ranges of up to and over 70 km and against air­craft, he­li­copters, UAVs and PGMs. The sys­tem is effective in all weather con­di­tions, in­clud­ing low clouds, rain, dust storms or fog.

It pro­vides ro­bust, yet se­lec­tive de­fence. Its abil­ity to dis­crim­i­nate between threats headed to­wards the de­fended area and those that will fall into the sea or open fields re­duces costs and lim­its un­nec­es­sary in­ter­cep­tor launches. A sin­gle launcher can pro­tect against a medium-size city. Iron Dome uses a unique in­ter­cep­tor with a spe­cial war­head that det­o­nates the tar­gets in the air within seconds. The sys­tem can han­dle mul­ti­ple threats si­mul­ta­ne­ously and ef­fi­ciently.

The Iron Dome sys­tem in­cludes the fol­low­ing com­po­nents: Mo­bile de­tec­tion and track­ing radar - Multi-Mis­sion Radar (MMR) Bat­tle Man­age­ment & Con­trol Unit Sen­sors Mo­bile Mis­sile Fir­ing Unit (MFU) with 20 “TAMIR” in­ter­cep­tors The Iron Dome meets the fol­low­ing re­quire­ments: All-weather op­er­a­tion Effective and se­lec­tive han­dling of salvo threats aimed at the “De­fended Zone“Threat war­head is det­o­nated on its tra­jec­tory Threats are de­stroyed out­side the de­fended area, dur­ing their flight Ig­nores tar­gets pre­dicted to fall out­side the de­fended area zone Ca­pa­ble of con­tin­u­ous op­er­a­tion day/ night and in all weather con­di­tions The sys­tem can be con­nected to the high ech­e­lon Air Sit­u­a­tion Pic­ture En­ables clas­si­fi­ca­tion of tar­get threat families The Bat­tery with all its com­po­nents is trans­portable and move­able In­ter­cep­tors are main­te­nance free with a life cy­cle of 15 years. RAFAEL of­fers in­te­grated air de­fence sys­tems for site (point tar­get) pro­tec­tion, as well as mo­bile forces. RAFAEL’s air de­fence sys­tems rely upon the ex­cel­lent per­for­mance demon­strated by state-of-the-art mis­siles such as the Python 5 short range full-sphere mis­sile and DERBY - Be­yond Vis­ual Range mis­sile. RAFAEL’s sys­tems and mis­siles are pro­vided as stand-alone plat­forms or can be in­te­grated within sys­tem mod­ern­iza­tion pro­grammes. RAFAEL also of­fers acous­tic and elec­tro-op­ti­cal sen­sors and com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­works that can be in­te­grated within the air de­fence sys­tems.

Broad Spec­trum Solutions from IAI

Is­rael Aero­space In­dus­tries (IAI) pro­vides unique sys­tem-of-sys­tems solutions for a broad spec­trum of needs in space, air, land, sea and home­land de­fence. In the­atre de­fence, IAI has Ar­row weapon sys­tem; in­te­grated air pic­ture and EZ Guard, exclusive economic zone pro­tec­tion guard.

Ar­row Weapon Sys­tem

Against the ris­ing threat of Theater Bal­lis­tic Mis­siles (TBMs), car­ry­ing var­i­ous types of war­heads, Is­rael Aero­space In­dus­tries’ MLM Di­vi­sion with its part­ners de­vel­oped an effective, pow­er­ful and mo­du­lar de­fence sys­tem. Util­is­ing the uniquely effective Ar­row II and the in­no­va­tive Ar­row III in­ter­cep­tors. The sys­tem de­tects, in­ter­cepts and de­stroys in­com­ing TBMs and pro­vides a large de­fended foot­print al­low­ing the pro­tec­tion of im­por­tant strate­gic as­sets as well as civil­ian pop­u­la­tion cen­tres.

In­te­grated Air Pic­ture ELM-2026B - VSHORAD

ELTA’s ELM-2026B VSHORAD radar is the fifth-gen­er­a­tion of 3D tac­ti­cal air de­fence radars. The ELM-2026B VSHORAD radar is a light weight trans­portable, X-band, solid­state elec­tron­i­cally scanned, pulse-dop­pler radar. This cost-effective radar de­liv­ers early warn­ing and tar­get data for sup­port­ing sur­face-to-air mis­sile weapon sys­tems.

The radar em­ploys multi-beam el­e­va­tion cov­er­age by ap­ply­ing Dig­i­tal Beam Form­ing (DBF) and 360 deg. az­imuth cov­er­age by

an­tenna ro­ta­tion. The radar de­tects a wide va­ri­ety of low RCS tar­gets such as low fly­ing fighter air­craft, low ve­loc­ity ul­tra-lights and UAVs. The radar pro­vides ac­cu­rate tar­get mea­sure­ments of ve­loc­ity, range, az­imuth and el­e­va­tion an­gles.

The ELM-2026B VSHORAD can be de­ployed as a lo­cal air de­fence sys­tem pro­vid­ing early warn­ing and tar­get track to sur­face-to-air weapon sys­tems.

ELM-2080 - Green Pine Radar Sys­tem

The ELM-2080 “Green Pine” radar sys­tem is a trans­portable ground-based, mul­ti­mode solid state phased ar­ray radar. In­cor­po­rat­ing ELTA’s vast ex­pe­ri­ence in sur­veil­lance and fire con­trol, the “Green Pine” radar is de­signed to au­tonomously de­tect and si­mul­ta­ne­ously track dozens of tac­ti­cal bal­lis­tic mis­siles from long ranges, un­der all­weather con­di­tions and in the pres­ence of un­de­sired echoes.

ELM-2084 - MMR

The ELM-2084 is a mo­bile S-Band mul­ti­mis­sion radar (MMR) fam­ily im­ple­ment­ing an ad­vanced 3D ac­tive elec­tron­i­cally steered ar­ray (AESA) sup­port­ing mo­du­lar and scal­able ar­chi­tec­ture. The MMR fam­ily sup­ports ar­tillery weapon lo­ca­tion and air de­fence op­er­a­tional mis­sions and pro­vides op­ti­mal solutions for short, medium and long range mis­sions. The ELM-2084 fea­tures high re­dun­dancy, grace­ful degra­da­tion, high re­li­a­bil­ity and very high avail­abil­ity.

ELM-2106 ATAR Medium Range Tac­ti­cal Air De­fence Radar

The ELM-2106 ATAR (Ad­vanced Tac­ti­cal Ac­qui­si­tion Radar) is ELTA’s fourth­gen­er­a­tion 3D Tac­ti­cal air de­fence radars. It Re­flects ELTA’s 35 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in tac­ti­cal mil­i­tary radars. The ELM-2106 ATAR Sys­tem is a 3D solid state L-band medium range tac­ti­cal radar with Ac­tive Elec­tron­i­cally Steer­ing Ar­ray (AESA) in el­e­va­tion. The radar de­tects a wide va­ri­ety of low RCS tar­get such as: low ve­loc­ity ul­tra­lights and UAVs.

The ELM-2106 ATAR can be de­ployed as a lo­cal air de­fence sys­tem pro­vid­ing warn­ing and tar­get des­ig­na­tion to sur­face-toAIR weapon sys­tems in­clud­ing MANPADS. The sys­tem can also be de­ployed as gap fil­ters for sup­port­ing C3I cen­tres for AIR Traf­fic Con­trol (ATC). THE ELM-2106 ATAR has been field proven, op­er­at­ing in noisy and high-clut­ter en­vi­ron­ments.

ELM-2106NG - ADSR - 3D Tac­ti­cal Air De­fence Radar

This 3D por­ta­ble radar de­tects a wide va­ri­ety of fly­ing plat­forms in­clud­ing low level high-speed fighter air­craft, hov­er­ing he­li­copters, low ul­tra-light air­craft and UAVs. The radar pro­vides ac­cu­rate range, az­imuth and el­e­va­tion an­gle mea­sure­ments for each tar­get, dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing between air­craft and he­li­copters and clas­si­fy­ing the he­li­copter type ac­cord­ing to its blades re­turns.

ELL-8388 3-D Multi-Mis­sion Ground ESM/ELINT Sys­tem

ELL-8388 is a mod­ern ad­vanced 3-D ESM/ELINT sur­veil­lance sys­tem for tac­ti­cal and strate­gic in­tel­li­gence col­lec­tion and air de­fence sup­port. This in­te­grated sys­tem has the unique ca­pa­bil­ity of cre­at­ing a 3-di­men­sional sit­u­a­tion pic­ture by pro­vid­ing lo­ca­tion and dy­namic track­ing of air­borne, ship­borne, and mo­bile/fixed ground-based emit­ters.

ELW-2085 - CAEW - Con­for­mal Air­borne Early Warn­ing & Con­trol

The long-range, high per­for­mance, mul­ti­sen­sor AEW in­tro­duces a new level of per­for­mance to air­borne early warn­ing, tac­ti­cal sur­veil­lance of air­borne and sur­face tar­gets, and the gath­er­ing of sig­nal in­tel­li­gence. The ELW-2085’s four sen­sors are: Radar, IFF, ESM/ELINT and CSM/ COMINT. A unique fu­sion tech­nique con­tin­u­ously cross-cor­re­lates data gen­er­ated by all sen­sors: this data is com­bined with an au­to­mat­i­cally ini­ti­ated ac­tive search by one sen­sor for spe­cific tar­gets de­tected by other sen­sors.

ELW-2090 - Air­borne Early Warn­ing & Con­trol (AEW&C)

ELTA’s in­te­grated mis­sion suite, with a pow­er­ful com­mand, con­trol and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem, sup­ports a va­ri­ety of op­er­a­tional mis­sions such as: long-range air sur­veil­lance; air­borne C4I for air & naval op­er­a­tions; air­borne com­mand & con­trol post; net­work-cen­tric war­fare op­er­a­tions and com­mu­ni­ca­tion node.

This long-range, large cabin,4-en­gine tur­bo­jet mil­i­tary trans­port air­craft, sup­ports a comlpete and high per­for­mance AEW&C suite. The IL-76 pro­vides ex­cep­tional cabin space for the op­er­a­tor’s crew in­clud­ing a large rest area for ad­di­tional op­er­a­tors. The ELW-2090 IL-76 AEW&C air­craft can be air-re­fu­elled for ex­tend­ing mis­sion time.

El­bit’s Proven Ex­pe­ri­ence

A sup­plier of ad­vanced ar­tillery sys­tems for over 25 years, El­bit Sys­tems Land and C4I has proven ex­pe­ri­ence with large va­ri­ety of ar­tillery guns, launch­ers and mor­tar types, ad­vanced in­te­gra­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties with var­i­ous types of ra­dios and ar­tillery sen­sors, and a deep un­der­stand­ing ar­tillery pro­cesses, bal­lis­tic com­put­ing and bat­tle­field man­age­ment.

Air De­fence and Mor­tar Ser­vices

There are Plat­form Up­grades – com­pre­hen­sive up­grade of ex­ist­ing plat­forms, in­clud­ing C4I, fire con­trol and nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems. Truck Mounted Guns – ar­tillery mod­erni­sa­tion for heavy and light plat­forms uti­liz­ing ex­ist­ing towed, track, or mounted guns - im­prov­ing ef­fec­tive­ness, ac­cu­racy and sur­viv­abil­ity. Au­ton­o­mous mor­tar – au­to­matic move­ment mor­tar sys­tem, fully in­te­grated with C2, fire con­trol sys­tems, nav­i­ga­tion, posit­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and lever­ag­ing ex­ist­ing plat­forms.

High Rep­e­ti­tion Range-find­ers

The abil­ity to mea­sure the range-to-tar­get at high rep­e­ti­tion rates is crit­i­cal to im­prov­ing air de­fence sys­tems’ op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties. El­bit Sys­tems Elec­tro-op­tics - Elop’s (Elop) cut­ting edge eye­safe, high rep­e­ti­tion rangefind­ers up­grade the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the full range of anti-air­craft weapons.

Vir­tual Train­ing

The Air De­fence Simulator (ADS) is a so­phis­ti­cated in­door train­ing fa­cil­ity that pro­vides a sim­u­lated en­vi­ron­ment for ad­vanced air de­fence (AD) train­ing. The simulator com­bines train­ing of short-range AD weapon sys­tems with vary­ing op­er­a­tional sce­nar­ios and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions. The ADS uti­lizes a pow­er­ful pro­pri­etary sce­nario gen­er­a­tor that sup­ports a large num­ber of si­mul­ta­ne­ous en­ti­ties, in­clud­ing high-fidelity sim­u­la­tion of vir­tual blue and red forces.

Rafael’s Iron Dome in ac­tion

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