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A new advanced air defense system incorporates several unique technologies. Lockheed Martin has teamed up with Saab and Diehl Defense to deliver the Falcon air defense weapon system, which is designed to take down short and medium-range air threats.
Falcon uses Lockheed Martin’s SkyKeeper command and control battle manager, with an integrated 40km range Infrared Imaging System IRIS-T SLM interceptor and vertical launcher, developed by Diehl Defense. It is a highly mobile interceptor that can engage multiple targets simultaneously, working in all weather conditions. The platform also includes Saab’s 360° AESA Giraffe 4A radar, which provides the Tactical Operations Center with continuous updates on the location of all tracked targets. Using an open architecture design, the Falcon air defense weapon system can integrate any air operations center.
The missiles are a modified version of the air-to-air variant in use by the German Air Force, specifically designed to be launched from the ground.
“Unlike other systems which are using air-to-air missiles in a ground launched role, this missile was explicitly developed for ground-based air defense applications,” Diehl Defense’s Dr. Harald Buschek told defensenews.com.
In order to fire those missiles, they’ll need a target, which is where Saab’s S-band Giraffe radar comes in. The actively-scanned electronic array (AESA) system provides 360-degree coverage with a rotation every second.
The types of threats that the Falcon can prevent include unmanned aerial systems (UAS) carrying lethal payloads, such as warheads and weaponry, cruise missiles that can attack from any direction, and winged aircraft with extended-range ordnance capabilities.
The Giraffe A4 multifunctional radar provides a simultaneous picture of airborne tracks, “sense and warn” of incoming rockets and mortars and targeting data for the SkyKeeper missile system C2, according to army-technology.com.