ELTA Systems was awarded a contract to supply the Israel Navy with four of the world’s most advanced radar systems for the new Sa’ar-6 warships, the company announced on Tuesday.
The ELM-2248 MF-STARs multi-function digital radar systems produced by the subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, are based on the latest Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology, which allows for faster threat-alert response time, as well as better accuracy and the ability to simultaneously track multiple targets and different types of targets, providing a full situational awareness picture to the ship.
“The MF-STAR was designed from the ground up with innovative and reliable technologies, based on our experience of over half a century of producing and deploying a vast array of radar systems,” said Yoav Tourgeman, IAI vice president and CEO of ELTA.
The system comprises four conformal phased array S-Band antennas, which provide 360° coverage and will be installed on the ship’s masts. Optical networking and antenna-tile architecture makes the system significantly lighter than similar radars, without reducing its capabilities and functionality.
“The Israel Navy selected this version as it is optimized for the design of the Sa’ar-6 vessel, offering maximum performance,” read a statement released by the company.
According to Gil Roth, director of the naval systems, land and naval radars and systems division at ELTA, “the radar sensor is the most important sensor on the ship. It provides most of the data for the ship’s awareness, and tells what’s going on from on the ship itself to hundreds of kilometers away.”
“It’s the world’s most advanced 3D digital radar system,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, explaining that it shows all relevant targets and threats, including missiles, enemy ships and drones and their velocities. When confronted by incoming threats, the radar rapidly provides all relevant data to all weapons systems on board.
While the system has also been installed on the Sa’ar-5, the one which will be installed on the Sa’ar-6 will be larger and will provide enhanced performance in detection range and accuracy, Roth told the Post.
“The digital capability of the radar enables it to be software controlled and very easily upgraded,” Roth explained, adding that “if there’s a new threat in the environment, the Israel Navy and ELTA can very easily change the system to handle new threats.”
The construction of the four Sa’ar-6 warships was agreed to in a €430 million deal between Israel and the German company ThyssenKrupp in 2015. The first ship is expected to arrive at the end of 2019 with the last by 2021. They will defend Israel’s offshore natural gas reserves as well as other strategic maritime assets.
According to the military, the new Sa’ar-6 will also maintain “Israel’s sovereignty in the near and far seas, destroying the enemy’s war fleets and significantly contributing to complex and secret missions in the war-between-war campaign.”
The new 90-meter-long ships will carry a crew of 70 sailors who will be assisted by unmanned aerial vehicles and naval helicopters. It will have a maximum speed of 24 knots with a range of 2,500 nautical miles.
They will be fitted with two naval Iron Dome short-range defense missile launchers, each having 20 Tamir missiles, and the Barak-8 long-range surface-to-air missile naval defense system.
In addition to interception missile defense systems, the ships will also have 16 anti-ship missiles, one 76 mm. Oto Melara Super Rapid main gun, two Typhoon 25 mm. remote weapon stations and two 324 mm. torpedo launchers for MK54 Lightweight Torpedoes. Each ship will also be outfitted with cyber and electronic warfare systems.