Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has delivered the first of eight ELM-2084 multi-mission radar (MMR) systems to the Czech Republic, the company announced on Tuesday.
The radar systems, which will replace obsolete Soviet-made ones that the Czech military received in 1991, are part of a deal signed in December 2019 by the two defense ministries. The first system was delivered in late February and the others will be delivered throughout the year, with the last one arriving in early 2023.
The operational and combat-proven MMR that is integrative with NATO systems is the radar of Israel’s Iron Dome, David’s Sling and IAI’s land-based Barak missile defense weapon systems. Some 150 such systems have been sold to customers around the world.
According to reports, the radar systems will be integrated into NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense early-warning systems, providing continuous radar coverage at low altitudes.
The MMR can simultaneously detect, classify, monitor, and intercept multiple airborne projectiles at an altitude of 100 m. to 3,000 m. (330 to 10,000 feet) and cover a wide area of about 250 kilometers.
It can provide defense against aircraft, UAVs and drones, as well as artillery against other hostile projectiles and can identify the location of rocket launches, enemy artillery and mortars while “locating both the launch and expected hit position, and controlling intercepting missiles launched against these threats,” IAI said in a statement.
“Thanks to the system’s advanced tracking capabilities, the radar provides situational awareness which is both precise and reliable, and includes the detection and identification of targets having low signatures,” the statement said.
As part of the deal, Israel will transfer state-of-the-art technology and know-how, with 30% of the contract value coming from Czech industries that will take part in several areas of the program including design, manufacturing, assembly, integration, testing and lifetime maintenance of the systems.
Certain security components will be manufactured locally, including advanced Gallium Nitride (GaN) radar modules, as well as auxiliary subsystems such as trucks and camouflage nets.
Like the rest of Europe, the Czech Republic is modernizing its military in order to face Russian aggression and future threats.
In June 2018, the Czech Republic announced that it would be sending a new attaché for defense industries to Tel Aviv in charge of research, development and purchasing in the defense ministry. Then in 2019, then-Czech defense minister Martin Stropnicky said that Prague would spend some $7.1 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade the country’s armed forces.
“Despite the challenges of the last two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, the project teams, in both Israel and the Czech Republic, were able to cooperate successfully while remaining committed to the aim of joint production,” said Yoav Tourgeman, IAI VP and ELTA CEO.
“The advanced radar that has now been supplied to the Czech Republic is able to simultaneously identify and classify hundreds of targets, and perform identification of unmanned platforms, missiles, rockets and other new threats in the operational area," he said. "We believe that the system’s ability to integrate with NATO systems will bring about a new era of operations for the Czech Ministry of Defense.”
Following the deal by the Czech Republic to purchase the radar system, Slovakia also signed a deal for the system to upgrade its air defense systems.