IAI unveils UHF early warning radar family

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Yaakov Lappin, Tel Aviv - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
10 June 2015


The ULTRA-C22 is a strategic radar system for detecting ballistic missiles and other space objects. Source: IAI

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled on 6 June a new family of ultra high frequency (UHF) active electronically scanned array (AESA) early warning radars called ULTRA.

According to Boaz Nathan, of IAI's Business Development and Marketing department, the new radars are designed to carry out a variety of long-range search, detection, and tracking tasks.

Developed by IAI's ELTA Systems group, they are made up of modular units measuring 3x3 m. When one such unit is used on its own it is known as the ULTRA-C1. This is designed for use as a lightweight surveillance radar for mobile platforms and IAI says it can detect a typical fighter aircraft that is 500 km away.

IAI says the other options are the 6-unit ULTRA-C6, which is designed to detect ballistic missiles and airborne targets at long ranges, and the 22-unit ULTRA-C22, which is a "strategic system" for detecting ballistic missiles and space objects at very long ranges. Additionally, other cluster configurations are possible to meet specific customer requirements.

Nathan said the ULTRA-C22 measures 10x30 m and may in the future be used by civilian space agencies "to map out space debris".

Unlike the ULTRA-C1, the clustered units cannot rotate to provide 360 degree coverage. While Nathan said the fixed clusters have a 120 degree field of view, he said that after detecting a target they can track it across 320 degrees.

IAI said the system has so far been sold to one client whom it declined to name. "This has passed the evaluation stage and it is operationally active," Nathan said.
IAI unveils UHF early warning radar family - IHS Jane's 360
 

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