RADA to Open a Radar Production Facility in India

RADA Electronic Industries from Netanya, Israel, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ADTL, India, to establish a Joint Venture to manufacture and support RADA’s radars in India. RADA envisions this market as a strategic growth opportunity, but following the Indian Government’s policy of “Make in India”, it had decided to establish a strong local presence in partnership with a local defense company, offering tactical radars which are tailored to the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.

The Indian partner,  Alpha Design Technologies (ADTL), is a 1,200+ people-strong, professional R&D and Production Organization, specializes in Fire Control Radars, Surveillance Radars, Tactical Communications, EW and Avionics. “Now is the right timing to develop our Indian market and become a provider of cutting-edge technologies to the Indian Armed Forces,” said Dov Sella, RADA’s CEO.

RADA provides military mini-tactical radars to the armed forces of more than 30 countries. Its radars sit at combat-proven Active Protection Systems (APS) and Vehicle Protection Systems (VPS) which expected to be installed in future combat vehicles og many armed forces around the world, including IDF and the US Army.

 

ELTA Revealed SAR-based Counter-IED/Mine Suite

Recognizing that no single sensor can provide adequate and accurate detection of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and Mines, IAI has developed an integrated Counter-IED and Counter Mine protection system that is said to reliably detect surface and underground IEDs, mines, and roadside bombs. Based on IAI’s ELTA new SAR radar, the Counter-IED and Counter Mine Suite (CIMS) ELI-3375, employs Surface IEDs Detection Radar, GigaPix Optical Detection System and IR-based underground Mine and IED Detection System.

ELTA has disclosed that the suite can detect Disguised IEDs and Mines and to provide 270˚ early warning coverage of the combat platform (manned or unmanned). It also provides automatic cueing of the investigating sensors and Clean Route recordings of obstacles, IEDs and mines. There is an option to equip the system with countering techniques and hard kill systems tailored according to the specific needs.

The new system belongs to a new genetration of small and mobile Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) produced by ELTA Systems. Earlier this week it announced another lightweight SAR codenamed ELM-2054, for use in Small Tactical UAVs (STUAV), tactical VTOL UAVs, ultra-light reconnaissance aircraft, aerostats, and other compact airborne platforms.

The ELM-2054 reaches a range of up to 20KMs with a weights of only 8kgs-10kgs, in a power envelope of less than 200 Watt and 28 Vdc. It provides SAR Strip area collection rate of up to 750 km2/hour and performs onboard processing of SAR images enabling low downlink data rates. Main missions include Surveillance, Damage Assessment, Anti-terror warfare, Counter narcotics and smuggling prevention, Monitor disaster areas and Maritime missions.

IAI and HENSOLDT Cooperation on Ballistic Missile Defense

ELTA is the radar division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). As such, it also responsible for the development of the powerful radar of Israel’s Ballistic Missile Defence Systems. Last month IAI announced a cooperation agreement with HENSOLDT to supply new radars to the German Armed Forces to modernise their airspace surveillance and build up Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) capabilities.

The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment has placed an order for the delivery and installation of four long-range radars worth approximately 200 million euros. For this purpose, Hensoldt has entered into a cooperation in the field of BMD-capable long-range radars with ELTA. Headquartered in Taufkirchen near Munich, Germany, HENSOLDT develops sensor solutions for defense and security applications. With approximately 5,600 employees, HENSOLDT generated revenues of 1.2 billion euros in 2020.

RADA reports $56 Million in New Orders in H1 2021

The provider of Software Defined Tactical Radar Systems, RADA Electronic Industries, has announced the receipt of $56 million of new orders in the first half of 2021, including $32 million in new orders during the second quarter 2021. This figure represents a growth of 37% in new orders when compared to the first half of 2020. The majority of these new orders will be delivered during 2021.

Of these new orders, approximately 91% were orders for RADA’s software-defined tactical radars for counter UAV, short-range air defense and counter fires (C-RAM), with 64% of the orders coming from the US market and 27% from the rest of the world. The remaining 9% were for RADA’s legacy avionics systems. Dov Sella, RADA’s CEO, said that the new orders,increase our confidence in our revenue guidance of over $120 million for 2021.” Following the announcement, Rada’s shares in NASDAQ rose by 6%, bringing the company value to $568 million.

RADA provides military mini-tactical radars to the armed forces of more than 30 countries, including IDF and the US Army. It works closely with leading defense integrators such as Rafael, Elbit, Israel Aerospace Industries, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Leonardo DRS, Rheinmetall Air Defense, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Embraer. Its radars sit at the heart of combat-proven Active Protection Systems (APS) and Vehicle Protection Systems (VPS) which expected to be installed in future combat vehicles og many armed forces around the world.

IAI Integrates Naval Combat Suite on Sa’ar 6 Corvettes

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), together with the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (part of IMoD) and the Israeli Navy, completed the first phase of installing the MF-STAR (Magen Adir) radars on the Israeli Navy’s ‘Sa’ar 6’ corvettes.The next stage will be the  egration of the BARAK MX Air Defense System (Ra’am Adir) on the vessels. The radars will serve to locate and classify air and surface targets and help to build an advanced and detailed maritime picture of the surveillance area. The MF-STAR radar system will serve as the “brain” of the Israeli Navy’s new warships. It is also an important component of the BARAK Air Defense System.

ELTA’s MF-STAR (ELM-2248) is a digital AESA (Active Electronic Scanning Array) multi-function radar. It employs multi-beam and pulse Doppler techniques as well as Electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) techniques to extract low Radar cross-section (RCS) targets from complex clutter and jamming environments. The Transmit/Receive element digital output enables software only adaptive beam forming and mode variations to form a software defined radar. The MF-STAR antenna includes 4 scalable faces of active arrays in S-Band frequency. These 4 faces can be installed in various configurations and in different sizes.

Upon identifying a threat, the radar supplies all required data immediately to each control, defense and support systems on deck, enabling to respond in real-time. The BARAK MX Air Defense System provides both wide-area and targeted defense capabilities to an array of threats, including: land, air and sea. The system aggregates several key cutting-edge systems: a digital radar, weapon control system, launchers, a range of interceptors for different ranges with advanced homing devices, data-link communication and system wide connectivity.

IAI Unveiled a Passive Radar

ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries Group, unveiled this week a new Passive Coherent Location Radar System, enables the creation of an air situation using non-cooperative transmitters. It detects and tracks aerial threats based on target reflection from FM or Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) towers. The reflections are received by one or a network of antennas, providing 3D real-time tracking of multiple targets in congested airborne traffic.

The PCL system installation can include one sensor or a cluster of sensors for redundancy and improved coverage. The sites are connected to the central PCL command and control processing unit via a dedicated data link. General Manager of ELTA Intelligence, Communications and EW division, Adi Dulberg, said that the PCL system detects and classifies aerial risks, “without unveiling the locator.”

Very small footprint

Passive coherent location systems (sometimes called ‘Passive Radar’) systems are a variant of Bistatic Radar in which the reciever and the transmitter are separate. But the PCL variant does not employ any transmitter at all – it exploit ‘existing illuminators’ as their sources of radar transmission. These sources can be analogue FM radio, cellular phone base stations, digital audio broadcast (DAB) and other sources.

Passive radar systems offer several key benefits. They are hard to detect by conventional means: Electronic sensors cannot pick them up because they do not transmit their own signals. They have no transmitters generating heat, so they cannot be detected thermal signatures, and they are small and quite difficult to spot. According to Visiongain rtesearch firm, the global passive radar market is projected to grow from US$ 2,324 million in 2020 to US$ 4,313 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 6.38% between 2020 and 2030.

 

Needed a Radar to distinguish between Humans and Animals

The Directorate of Defense Research & Development in The Israeli Ministry of Defense (“Mafat”) announced its new competition, MAFAT Radar Challenge, for the development of capability to accurately distinguish between humans and animals in radar tracks? The winner will receive $40,000. The competition’s objective is to explore automated, novel solutions that will enable classification for humans and animals with a high degree of confidence and accuracy.

While some object types are easily distinguishable from one another by traditional signal processing techniques, distinguishing between humans and animals, which are non-rigid objects, tracked in doppler-pulse radars, is a difficult task. Today, the task of classifying radar-tracked, non-rigid objects is mostly done by human operators and requires the integration of radar and optical systems.

Why is this a difficult task?

Classification of radar-tracked objects is traditionally done by using well-studied radar signal features. For example, the Doppler effect (Doppler shift) and the radar cross-section (RCS) of an object can be utilized for the classification task, however, from the radar system’s perspective, looking at the tracked objects through the lens of those traditional features, humans and animals appear very similar.

Microwave signals travel at the speed of light but still obey the Doppler effect. Microwave radars receive a Doppler frequency shifted reflection from a moving object. Frequency is shifted higher for approaching objects and lower for receding objects. The Doppler effect is a strong feature for some classification tasks, such as separating moving vehicles from animals. However, humans and animals are typically moving at the same range of velocities.

The radar cross-section (RCS) is a measure of how detectable an object is by radar. An object reflects a limited amount of radar energy back to the source, and this reflected energy is used to calculate the RCS of an object. A larger RCS indicates that an object is more easily detected by radars. Multiple factors contribute to the RCS of an object, including its size, material, shape, orientation, and more.

The RCS is a classic feature for classifying tracked objects. However, it turns out that the RCS of humans is similar to the RCS of many animals; thus, RCS alone is not a good enough separating feature as well. The task of automatically distinguishing between humans and animals based on their radar signature is, therefore, a challenging task.

The objective of the competition is to explore whether creative approaches and techniques, including deep convolutional neural networks, recurrent neural networks, transformers, classical machine learning, classical signal processing, and more, can provide better solutions for this difficult task.

Mafat is interested in approaches that are inspired by non-radar fields, including computer vision, audio analysis, sequential data analysis, and so on. It provides real-world data (I/Q Matrix), gathered from diverse geographical locations, different times, sensors, and qualities (high- and low-signal to noise ratio—SNR). The competitor’s mission is to identify whether the segment of the tracked object is an animal or a human.

US Army Chose RADA’s Radars for Counter-Drone Systems

Above: Rafael’s Counter-drone system incorporates RADA’s Tactical Radar

The US Army has selected the tactical radar of RADA Electronic Industries from Netanya, Israel, for its Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS) systems. The Army has defined four C-sUAS categories: fixed/semi-fixed systems, mounted/mobile system, handheld systems, and command & control.

RADA’s radars are the incumbent radar system in the L-MADIS platform which was selected as the mounted/mobile system, and are incorporated in part of the recommended fixed solutions, along with other fixed solutions deployed across the US. While not relevant to handheld systems, RADA’s radars are compatible with the recommended command and control systems.

Next-generation Tactical Radars

Dov Sella, RADA’s CEO, said that the US Army preferred not only the most up-to-date existing technologies, but those new and emerging technologies currently in development. “We are in advanced development stages of our next-generation tactical radars that aim to address future challenges at highly affordable performance-to-price points.”

According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), in FY2021, the Department of Defense (DOD) plans to spend at least $404 million on counter-UAS (C-UAS) research and development and at least $83 million on C-UAS procurement. In December 2019, DOD streamlined the Department’s various counter-small UAS (C-sUAS) programs, creating a the Joint C-sUAS Office (JCO). On June 25, 2020, Maj. Gen Sean Gainey, director of the JCO, announced that seven C-sUAS defensive systems and one standardized command and control system are to be further developed.

How to Tackle Drones

C-UAS can employ a number of methods to detect the presence of hostile or unauthorized UAS. The first is using electro-optical, infrared, or acoustic sensors to detect a target by its visual, heat, or sound signatures, respectively. A second method is to use radar systems. However, these methods are not always capable of detecting small UAS due to the limited signatures and size of such UAS.

A third method is identifying the wireless signals used to control the UAS, commonly using radio frequency sensors. These methods can be—and often are—combined to provide a more effective, layered detection capability. Once detected, the UAS may be engaged or disabled. Electronic warfare “jamming” can interfere with a UAS’s communications link to its operator.

Jamming devices can be as light as 5 to 10 pounds and therefore man-portable, or as heavy as several hundred pounds and in fixed locations or mounted on vehicles. UAS can also be neutralized or destroyed using guns, nets, directed energy, traditional air defense systems, or even trained animals such as eagles. DOD is developing and procuring a number of different C-UAS technologies to try to ensure a robust defensive capability.