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ELK 7065 3D HF on IAI-made Heron UAV

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ELK 7065 3D HF on IAI-made Heron UAV
ELK 7065 3D HF on IAI-made Heron UAV

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will unveil at this year’s Paris Air Show, a pioneering compact three dimensional (3D) high frequency (HF) Direction Finders for airborne, shipborne and ground platform applications. 

The new communication intelligence (COMINT) system, designated ELK-7065 3D HF DF, developed and tested by ELTA Systems Ltd., an IAI subsidiary and group, tags and labels signal identifiers such as power, frequency, modulation, geo-location and polarization in order to provide quick labelling and identification of the received signals, creating a reliable Electronic Order of Battle (EOB) picture. This unique method is enabled by innovative sensor technology.

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HF communication plays an increasingly significant role in military, para-military and civilian applications. The need for Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) communication is achieved through HF communication without using expensive satellite communication systems. Whether using sky wave propagation or a close range network utilizing ground waves, HF communication is proving to be an increasingly practical and reliable solution especially with the advent of advanced HF related technologies such as Automatic Link Establishment (ALE). This fast growing use of HF communication has created an increasing interest in HF intelligence systems. Current systems, however, are very cumbersome and require very large antennas which typically render them unpractical for compact and mobile applications.

ELTA’s unique capabilities, demonstrated by the ELK- 7065 3D HF COMINT system, allow for better classification and distinction of incoming signals.
Its advanced technology requires comparatively very small antennas for aerial purposes or small pick-up antennas for shipborne and ground platforms in order to provide an HF COMINT and geolocation capability which up to now, was provided only by antenna arrays measuring tens of meters. This compact installation enables smaller platforms to perform the COMINT mission with unparallel mobility and flexibility.

The maritime and ground vehicle antennas are merely 35 centimetres (13.7 In) long. The new airborne antenna configuration, measuring merely 30 by 50 centimetres (11.8 In by 19.6 In), has completed development testing and was recently installed on an IAI-made Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The test results surpassed expectations and are paving the way for the first production unit which may be installed on any relevant UAV or manned platform. Additionally, the same concept has been applied to conformal antennas that can be installed on marine vessels and ground vehicles, enabling a low radar cross section (RCS) and body obstruction.

Nissim Hadas, IAI’s Corporate Vice President and President of ELTA Systems said: “This revolutionary product has aroused keen interest from multiple customers around the world for symmetric and asymmetric warfare applications. IAI/ELTA is planning to perform several flight demonstrations of the system in the coming months”.