Czech company ERA introduces new passive surveillance system

by Michal Zdobinsky

The PLEES has a surveillance field of view of 360° by antenna rotation and a 30° instant field of view. (Michal Zdobinsky)

Czech Republic's ERA introduced a new Passive Long-range ESM Surveillance System (PLESS) with a range of up to 700 km on 18 September during the opening of the NATO Days event in Ostrava.

The new over-the-horizon system is capable of detecting, locating, analysing, identifying, and tracking slow-moving and stationary targets – via sources of electromagnetic radiation in the 0.1 to 18 GHz band – in a fully passive mode.

According to ERA, the intercept range enables the use of signal reflection interception in the tropospheric layers. It operates on the Angle of Arrival (AoA) principle, with support for multilateration using the time difference of arrival (TdoA) principle. For the 2D location of the target, at least two separate sensors are needed, as the triangulation method is used. Direction-finding accuracy is less than 0.5° for troposcatter.

On the ground PLESS can target long-, medium-, and short-range ground-based radars. It can detect signals from pulsed to communications, such as radar, datalinks, or jammers, ERA literature said.

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US approves Egyptian request for air defence radars

by Jeremy Binnie

A still from an Egyptian military video shows one of the EADC's SPS-48 fixed-site radars under a protective dome. (Egyptian Ministry of Defence )

The US State Department has approved the sale of three L3Harris SPS-48 land-based radars (LBRs) to Egypt for an estimated USD355 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 25 January.

Egypt already operates the LBR version of the radar, having bought six AN/SPS-48Es in the 2000s.

The radar was originally developed as a naval air surveillance radar in the 1960s, with the upgraded AN/SPS-48G version now installed on US Navy aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships. The new version significantly improves the system's reliability and maintainability, while reducing lifecycle costs and obsolescence issues.

L3Harris says the AN/SPS-48G is also available as a fixed or mobile land system, saying it provides excellent jamming immunity, low false alarm rates, and the ability to detect and track extremely small targets.

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British Army upgrades air defence capability

by Giles Ebbutt

LEAPP at the G7 World Summit 2021 in Cornwall in 2021. (@Comd7ADGp)

The British Army's Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP) capability, developed by Lockheed Martin UK, is to be upgraded and have its in-service date extended to 2029, the company announced on 26 January.

The value of the extended contract is GBP20 million (USD27 million). No timescale for the upgrade was revealed.

The truck-mounted system provides early air-defence warning at land formation headquarters (HQ) through airspace management, surveillance, and ground-based command and control (C2). Integrated with the Saab Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam (G-AMB) 3D surveillance radar it fuses the local air picture and the recognised air picture (RAP) utilising Link 16 and other tactical datalinks (TDLs), and provides integrated weapon engagement management.

The system was recently used in a surveillance capability at the G7 2021 Summit in Cornwall and the COP 26 Summit in Glasgow, and has been deployed overseas on numerous occasions.

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German NH90 helicopters to receive Rohde & Schwarz Soveron radios

by Olivia Savage

Rhode & Schwarz Soveron AR Airborne Radio (Janes/Pritish Dhingra)

Rhode & Schwarz has been contracted to equip the German Navy's NHIndustries NH90 Multi-Role Frigate Helicopter (MRFH) with its software-defined Soveron AR (airborne radios), the company announced on 25 January.

The company stated that it will deliver its Soveron radios onto 31 German Navy MRFH helicopters, each aircraft will be fitted with three VHF/UHF transceivers. The systems will be embedded with communication security.

A Rhode & Schwarz spokesperson told Janes that the company received a contract from Airbus Helicopters to deliver the radios. Airbus Helicopters, they added, would also handle the integration of the radios on the German aircraft.

Airbus Helicopters was not able to respond to a Janes request for information regarding the timeline for integration of the radios onto the helicopters, at the time of publication.

The Soveron airborne radio uses “state-of-the-art communications algorithms that were standardized throughout NATO, and particularly for naval applications. The transceiver's interfaces allow external devices or an external encryption device to be connected and guards the naval distress frequency, thereby remaining future-proof”, the company said.

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Czech Republic's ERA introduced a new Passive Long-range ESM Surveillance System (PLESS) with a rang...

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