With a war in Europe raging next to NATO borders, increasing tensions in Asia, conflict in the Middle East, and the ongoing development and proliferation of ever more effective long-range weapons, conventional and nuclear; it is not surprising that nations throughout the world are reexamining their defensive capabilities.
The ability to detect, classify and track aerial threats, including ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, low RCS manned and unmanned aircraft, and hypersonic missile systems has never been of such pressing importance. However, achieving this, especially at the ranges needed to gain sufficient warning time for interception, is not a trivial endeavor.
In response to this challenge, Israel Aerospace Industries’ radar and EW system center of excellence, ELTA Systems, leveraging its rich heritage in long-range, air surveillance and defense radars, offers the unique ELM-2090 TERRA Strategic Early Warning System. Combat proven, TERRA is a flexible, high performance solution for Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD), Medium Range Ground Air Defense (MRGBAD), and Advanced High-Speed Missile Defense (AHSMD). It is a dual radar system, employing both UHF and S band radars for unmatched detection and tracking performance against long range, low RCS targets. Each powerful system is able to function independently, but deployed together system performance is taken to an even higher level.
TERRA searches and detects aerial threats over UHF-band at very long ranges. After the threat is verified and tracked, the UHF-band radar automatically transfers the tracking data to the extremely accurate S-band radar, which is interoperable with air defense systems and can also function as a Fire Control Radar (FCR). Acting as a backup, the UHF-band radar continues to track the threat ensuring a high level of reliability.
TERRA is the foundation for class-leading, long-range air surveillance and defense capabilities. The system employs the company’s proprietary in-house processing techniques with advanced ECCM capabilities and innovative Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA) technology. AESA incorporates thousands of transmit/receive (T/R) units laid up in a matrix of a very large scale. The extremely reliable and maintainable system’s unique architecture, multibeam steering capability, and highly evolved resource management offer many important benefits. For example, the radar can continue operating even when elements are being serviced, supporting a high level of readiness. Furthermore, it facilitates graceful degradation, enabling continuing operation even after incurring significant battle damage. But of course, the most important benefit is the system’s outstanding ability to detect and track multiple threats.
TERRA offers extended azimuth coverage: 120° in sector mode as well as the ability to be mechanically slewed. When 360°coverage is required, the company offers a rotating mount for the S-Band radar, which can also be configured for mobile operation. In Missile Defense mode the radar slews to detect, track, classify and generate a real-time Air Situation Picture of long-range aerial targets, including ballistic and hypersonic missiles. When tracking missile threats, the radar implements its unique stop/slew configuration where the electronically steered sector can dynamically shift to a mechanical slewing function in order to follow missiles of interest. This advanced design provides high accuracy and fast update rates to perform concurrent search along with dedicated track beams. The radar can also acquire targets through external cueing from the C2 system. The design is ruggedized for harsh environments and can even be deployed on naval platforms.
TERRA is more than a high-performance radar system that delivers comprehensive coverage and early detection. It is a high-speed intelligence system that supports efficient and timely reaction. TERRA ensures that the OODA (observe–orient–decide–act) loop that military tacticians rely upon is quick enough to deal with the most difficult challenges, including multiple warhead ballistic missiles with integral decoys, which leave very little time for threat analysis and decision making.
The entire TERRA system, from individual microwave components all the way through to the large electronic assemblies, was developed by ELTA, which has complete control over manufacture and assembly at its own facilities. The software, which features unique, advanced algorithms, is also implemented entirely in-house. This gives the ability to maintain tight quality control and efficiently implement continual hardware and software improvements over the system’s extended lifecycle. It also enables performance parameters to be optimized in line with the customer’s specific operational scenarios.
TERRA is part of ELTA’s commitment to retaining the critical edge against long-range weapons systems. Designed, developed and continually refined to ensure that even the most difficult targets are detected and accurately tracked at ranges that provide ample warning time TERRA MOBILE gives sovereign nations the critical, class leading capabilities that are so important in the face of continually growing strategic threats.