Indian coastal surveillance and IAI-Elta
The Indian Navy has acquired two airborne radars developed by Israeli IAI’s Elta Systems Group to fill vital gaps in the country’s coastal security system. This acquisition has facilitated surveillance through balloon-mounted air defence radars with detection range of over 500 km, including tracking of low-flying aircraft.
The Indian Navy has acquired from Israel two EL/M-2083 Aerostat air-search radars, which are already in service with the Indian Air Force. While the acquisition was on Indian Navy’s shopping list for a long time, it was accelerated by the government after the Mumbai 26/11 terrorist attack.
The new radars, mounted on a hot-air balloon secured to the ground have improved the Indian Navy’s ability to detect enemy aircraft by providing 3D coverage over a radius of 500 km. The biggest advantage of Aerostat radar is that it is not fixed and can be moved to any location on the basis of prevailing threat scenario. It is designed to provide flexibility in operational deployment, thus adding new dimension to the coastal surveillance.
Another system of this kind is the Tethered Aerostat Radar System. It is an early warning and control phased array radar designed to detect approaching hostile aircraft from long ranges, especially at the low altitudes. Data gathered by the radar is transmitted to a central air defence command and control centre where it is used to maintain an extended comprehensive air situation picture. Once a potential threat is detected the on-board system alerts responders in a timely manner. It is based on the EL/M-2080.