Passive detection systems are being used along borders where there is a danger of low flying threats. Most of these passive radar systems are considered no more than “gap fillers” but this is a mistake.
Israel, as a country under everyday threats, has developed some passive detection systems. Some of these systems are still classified but recently the ELTA division of Israel aerospace industries (IAI) has developed “tailored” versions of its EL/L-8388 passive radar. The EL/L-8388 functions as a 3D ESM/ELINT surveillance system, and operated usually alongside active radars.
The system acts as passive detection radar that is creating a three dimensional situation picture by providing location and dynamic tracking of airborne emitters. ELTA says that the passive air situation system also offers improved identification and better ranging capability, with its improved penetration of low altitude clutter.
Being a passive system, it is also less vulnerable to anti-radiation attacks. Experts say that passive radars are not a direct substitute to active radars, but the equilibrium has shifted. This is a logical process, if we consider the recent intelligence data about the new platforms that can be easily in the hands of military forces but not only, namely terror organizations. These may include light aircraft, ultra-lights and unmanned air systems (UAS)
ELTA has exported the passive radar to at least one foreign customer.