Extreme terain operations, including alpine warfare, pose special challenges. In addition to the perils of battle, troops must also contend with punishing weather and geography. Lightning, wind gusts, falling rocks, avalanches, ice, and extreme cold all serve to hinder operations. Ingress and egress via fixed and rotary wing aircraft is either difficult or in many instances, impossible. Vehicle mobility is also impacted, with larger and heavier platforms at a proportionally greater disadvantage as the difficulty of the terrain increases.
The ability to field advanced equipment in difficult remote terrain, especially at high altitudes, calls for smaller, lighter, highly mobile systems that deliver the performance edge. ELTA Systems Ltd., the innovative defence electronics subsidiary of IAI, Israel’s largest defence and aerospace company, has developed compact, state of the art true multi-mission radar systems that are deployable on smaller, lighter and more mobile vehicle platforms to provide decisive C-RAM (counter rocket, artillery and mortar) and Air Defence capabilities to forces operating in extreme terrain at all altitudes. Designed to meet the demands of mountain operations these systems are at an advantage wherever challenging terrain and conditions are encountered.
ELTA’s C-MMR is an advanced 3D radar that employs Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) technologies. The radar is deployed on a single, high mobility (6X6, 8X8) vehicle and operated by only two crew members. In the Artillery Weapon Location (WLR) mode, the radar detects incoming mortar and artillery shells, rockets and missiles. It performs Hostile Weapons Location (HWL) and calculates impact and launching points (IP&LP) in real time while concurrently providing friendly fire ranging (FFR) to facilitate highly accurate counter battery and support fire.
C-MMR can simultaneously support up to ten, modern, long-range artillery batteries. It also features an Air Defence (AD) mode for the detection and classification of airborne targets, including UAVs, and generates a real-time Air Situation Picture.
C-MMR provides ranges of up to 70 km in the WLR and 250 km in the AD roles. It is capable of detecting and tracking multiple targets simultaneously and features advanced signal processing for better performance in heavy clutter, target classification, and the detection of very low elevation targets. It also features advanced ECCM capabilities. High redundancy, graceful degradation, and high reliability/availability ensure the system’s dependability.
Designed for dependable operation in rugged terrain the Green Rock can be deployed from high mobility ATVs, including ELTA’s own Z series of vehicles: ZMAG and ZBAR. The high precision 3D radar’s functionality is similar to that of C-MMR, with HWL, IP and LP calculations as well as FFR in the Artillery mode and detection and classification of targets in the AD role. While the smaller radar has a shorter detection range of 15 km in its C-RAM role and over 60 km in the Air Defence role, it is even more mobile and adds the capability of detecting and tracking small drones. Green Rock also employs the latest Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technologies. Each panel offers 90° azimuth and elevation and panels can be easily combined to increase coverage all the way to 360°.
There are various radars throughout the world that claim to offer multi-mission capability. From Elta’s perspective, which is based on years of operational and professional experience acquired through close cooperation with Israel Defence Force units and extensive development efforts, the full definition of multi-mission must include full simultaneous C-RAM and Air Defence capabilities. Regarding the former, it is imperative that the system have the simultaneous capability to both accurately pinpoint the source of enemy fire while at the same time correcting friendly fire in order to ensure quick and efficient target destruction. In order to claim genuine full C-RAM capability both missions must be performed in parallel without the need to switch between detection and ranging modes.
Both ELTA’s C-MMR (ELM-2311) and Green Rock (ELM-2138M) true multi-mission radars provide a combination of performance and mobility that gives maneuvering forces a defensive edge against incoming artillery, rocket and missile fire as well as airborne platforms. They also provide an offensive edge, with their ability to direct highly accurate fire. Moreover, both radars have been developed taking into account the threat of small and medium sized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on the battlefield as demonstrated in recent conflict, where UAVs were successfully deployed to “hunt” artillery units.
Operationally proven and ready for deployment in extreme terrain, these radars offer the cost-effective solution for force protection and friendly fire direction even in the most challenging environments.