THE HERON 1 unmanned aerial vehicle.
(photo credit: IAI)
Israel Aerospace Industries unveiled on Thursday a sensor system for air, sea, and groundbased unmanned platforms, which enables them to build up an intelligence picture of their surroundings based on the signals emitted from other military platforms.
The COMINT (communications intelligence) system, called ELK-7065 3D HF, is made by IAI’s subsidiary, ELTA. It identifies and tracks the sources of surrounding signals, such as power, radio broadcasts, or geo-location communications, and creates an intelligence database known as an “electronic order of battle picture,” IAI said in a statement.
The system “allows for better classification and distinction of incoming signals,” IAI added. If installed in drones, it requires “comparatively very small antennas,” IAI said. If installed in ship-based or ground unmanned platforms, a small antenna is sufficient.
Until now, this type of intelligence capability was enabled “only by antenna arrays measuring tens of meters. This compact installation enables smaller platforms to perform the COMINT mission with unparalleled mobility and flexibility,” IAI continued.
IAI released an image of its Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicle, which is used by the Israel Air Force and several foreign air forces, with the system on board.
It will also go on display for the first time next week in Orlando, at a trade show organized by the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International.
High frequency communications are playing an “increasing role in military, paramilitary and civilian applications,” IAI said, adding that the technology allows operators to bypass “expensive satellite communication systems.”
“This revolutionary product has aroused keen interest from multiple customers around the world for symmetric and asymmetric warfare applications.
IAI/ELTA is planning to perform several flight demonstrations of the system in the coming months,” said Nissim Hadas, IAI’s corporate vice president and president of ELTA Systems.