Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will supply the “Sky Capture” command and control systems for land-based air defense worth $550 million under a contract recently signed with a customer in Asia. The customer is likely the Indian Army. Developed by IAI’s Systems, Missile & Space Group, the system optimizes the performance of air defense artillery against a broad range of airborne threats, protecting headquarters, military bases and strategic assets. IAI is expected to deliver the first systems within a few months, and complete delivery in three years.

Sky Capture is a command and control system for anti-aircraft artillery and Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) systems that transforms legacy air defense systems into modern, accurate and effective weapons by applying modern sensors, communications and computing capabilities.

The system integrates several sensors, including target acquisition and fire control radar systems, including the ELM-2106 Advanced Tactical Air-Defense Radar (ATAR). This 4th Generation 3D is optimized to detect targets with low radar cross-section, such as low-velocity UAVs and ultralights that can be detected from 40-60 km. The ATAR radar can detect helicopters at 40 km, and classify such targets by type, according to the radar signature returned from the rotor blade returns. A solid-state L-Band medium-range radar. This radar combines rotation in azimuth with electronic scanning in elevation.

The system also combines an electro-optical (EO) payload for passive track and target identification. System. For the Sky Capture solution ATAR is associated with a separate fire control radar providing effective target engagement with continuous search and tracking of multiple targets. The solution provides accurate target data for the weapons associated with the system and manages to fire parameters to ensure the highest probability of target kill, according to the target type. Typical weapons controlled by the system are the Bofors L-70 cannons and ZSU-23/2 automatic guns.

IAI won this contract following an international tender published by the customer. The selection followed extensive testing that successfully demonstrated the system’s performance in different scenarios and against various targets.

Boaz Levi, IAI&’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of Systems, Missiles and Space Group IAI has won this international tender with a system that has been developed to support the future generation of very short-range air defense systems. “Sky capture combines several aerial interception methodologies, reflecting the extensive capabilities of IAI’s air defense know how.” Levi said, “The system sold under this contract uses air defense cannons and is also designed, if needed, to manage short-range missiles and laser interception systems.”

The Indian Army planned to replace about a thousand legacy AAA bought from Sweden in the 1960s, and have set about $3 billion for the project, but this plan was shelved before a tender was launched. Instead, the Army opted to upgrade the L-70 guns, ZSU-23/2, as well as the mobile ZSU-23/4 Schilka and Tungushka mobile AAA, adding short-range air defense missiles to the guns. Assumably, Sky Capture adds fire control to those upgraded guns to coordinate multiple guns on target and optimize their performance.