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C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

Indonesia selects VERA-NG passive surveillance system for Natuna airbase

28 February 2018

Key Points

  • The Indonesian Armed Forces has selected a passive ESM tracker from the Czech Republic
  • System will improve early warning and defence capabilities of an airbase in the South China Sea

A VERA-NG receiver deployed on a four-legged frame. (ERA)A VERA-NG receiver deployed on a four-legged frame. (ERA)

The Indonesian Armed Forces has selected the VERA-NG passive electronic support measure tracker from Czech Republic equipment manufacturer ERA Corporation to strengthen defences around its Ranai airbase.

The system was selected after a selection process that was completed in 2017, while delivery, setup, and verifications are expected to complete in 2018, according to the Ministry of Defence’s procurement office.

Jane’s first reported in 2016 that the service was evaluating five different proposals from China, Czech Republic, Iran, Italy, and Ukraine respectively for a passive surveillance system that can improve early warning capabilities of the Ranai airbase, which is located on the biggest island in the Natuna Islands cluster in the South China Sea.

Among proposals being evaluated at that time include the Kolchuga passive electronic support system from Ukraine’s State Joint Stock Holding Company Topaz.

The VERA-NG’s functionality is based on triangulation principles, and the time difference of arrival technique, which compares electromagnetic (EM) emissions received by the four synchronised receiver stations to detect and calculate the location of potential targets.

The system’s central processing station will then compare these emissions against a library that can store up to 10,000 EM signatures, and identify the type of targets detected. These targets can then be presented against the backdrop of visual environmental data to provide commanders with a three-dimensional and geolocated monitoring of potential adversaries.

Each receiver station can be deployed on site via a four-legged frame, or on a 25 m mast. Both setups can be containerised to facilitate faster transportation and field deployment operations.

The VERA-NG system is said to be resistant to jamming, and operates on a frequency range of between 50 MHz and 18 GHz. It can detect airborne targets from as far as 400 km when deployed on the 25 m mast.

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