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One of the most important aspects of national security is the protection of national critical infrastructures. The incapacity or destruction of such vital physical and cyber systems can lead to a devastating impact on a nation’s physical or economic security, public health or safety.
National energy systems, water infrastructure, power grid, transportation, chemical industries and other critical installations require the best standards of security. With growing global threats, such as enemy attacks, terrorist activities and cyber threats, as well as natural disasters, having the ability to defend these vital assets is crucial.
Solutions for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) must be able to detect, identify, classify, alert and coordinate an appropriate response – all in real time. Such capabilities can be achieved by implementing advanced technologies based on innovation and years of experience. As various clients cope with different challenges, tailored solutions are often required adapting to each clients’ security needs.
Elbit Systems is one such company, holding vast experience worldwide developing ground-breaking, security technologies.
The company and its subsidiaries operate in a wide array of fields, including aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (“C4ISR”), unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems, radios and cyber-based systems.
A Multi-Layered Solution by Elbit Security Systems (ELSEC)
Securing airports, seaports and critical infrastructures is the “bread and butter” of Elbit Systems’ subsidiary – Elbit Security Systems (ELSEC). Relying on Elbit Systems’ vast experience, the company operates as an integrator in the security, electro-optics and software fields. This innovative company, located at the Israeli southern city of Sderot, develops and supplies solutions for various configurations: coastal surveillance security systems, airport security systems, perimeter security, transportation security, pipeline security and more.
In a special interview to iHLS, Arie Chernobrov, General Manager of ELSEC, described the company’s strategy as focusing on two major aspects of homeland security – critical installations security and smart city solutions. The integrative solutions offered by the company are designed mainly for the commercial market.
Multi-Layered Solution for Critical Infrastructure Protection
ELSEC offers a turnkey multi-layered security solution for airports, seaports and critical infrastructure. The platform creates a tailored security network encompassing critical infrastructure to provide security and HLS authorities with comprehensive control over the site.
At the core of this unique solution is the Command & Control application C²π for integrative security management, which applies advanced data processing methodologies to connect multiple elements into a common operational situational awareness picture. The whole sensor array – cameras, electro-optics, radars, sonars, etc. – is connected and managed by the advanced Command & Control application.
The major advantage of ELSEC’s solution is the fact that the system relies on vast military experience while tailored to the civilian market answering HLS authorities’ needs.
Another advantage lies in the software being the same platform for all applications, and various sensors are added to it according to requirements – for trains, ports, safe city projects or offshore gas installations. Each and every installation gets its information from different sensors according to specific needs.
How Does the System Work?
Whenever a threat is detected, the system utilizes the Command & Control application in order to collect all necessary information creating a comprehensive unified situational awareness picture. Upon detection, the application rapidly and accurately validates the threat and automatically determines the best course of action based on predefined Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). The system then disseminates information to external security entities for further action assessment.
The solution further integrates with various systems, such as HD CCTV, day and night medium/ long range electro-optics, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in order to validate the threat. To assist the decision making process by the operator, advanced video analytics, license plate identification and facial recognition can be incorporated in the system.
ELSEC’s Advantage – Turnkey End-to-End Solutions
Every critical infrastructure protection project begins with comprehensive data analysis, site survey and risk assessment on the customer’s site.
The team then creates a tailored security Concept of Operation (CONOP) that translates operational needs into technologies and products and brings them together to provide a complete and comprehensive solution. ELSEC’s advanced solution is customized to the clients’ requirements and adapted to the changing arenas. As an integrator, ELSEC clearly understands and addresses its clients’ operational needs and challenges.
The advantage of ELSEC’s critical infrastructure protection solution lies in incorporating detailed system design and delivery, installation, integration, personnel training on system operation, as well as a long-term maintenance program.
The company’s vast experience has been successfully applied in various advanced projects around the world and in Israel, supplying the highest security to critical installations and innovative technologies for smart cities. Among its projects are securing the Israeli railway system (including stations, bridges, passes, etc.); securing the complete perimeter of the Haifa port; securing airports around the globe, etc. Recently, the company has completed a vast safe district (safe city) project in Uruguay. In this project, ELSEC was responsible for the complete array of operations, from developing and providing advanced technologies, to renovating the operation center and various installations. The company supplied a turnkey solution top to bottom as an integrator operating sub-contractors, while the customer had to deal with only one supplier.
A recent example of ELSEC’s projects involves a milestone contract granted to the company in the Israeli offshore oil industry in 2019. The company was awarded a $15 million contract from Energean Israel, a subsidiary of Energean Oil and Gas, to supply a comprehensive solution for the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) platform of the offshore Karish-Tanin gas fields in Israel’s economic water.
Elad Aharonson, General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR Division, commented: “Providing security to assets located in countries’ exclusive economic zones demands sophisticated technological and operational capabilities. Having been selected by Energean to provide the security suite for their Karish-Tanin gas fields’ FPSO platform, is a testament to our competitive advantage in this area.”
ELSEC will supply, within the framework of the contract, a technological suite that includes a wide range of sensors, among them electro-optic systems, radars, sonars, a command and control center as well as equipping rapid interception boats with a dedicated suite of sensors.
This comprehensive turnkey critical infrastructure security solution will enable to detect and identify both surface and underwater threats and will assist security teams to respond efficiently to any threat.
The contract will be performed over an approximately two-year period, with warranty and logistic support continuing for an additional 10 years, according to Elbit Systems announcement.
The gas installation is a huge platform located 90 km from the coast, encompassing a gas production installation and a pipe that connects it with the shore. Within the framework of the project, ELSEC will supply the complete security system for the installation, including a wide array of sensors, as well as a special security and C² center based on Elbit’s Command & Control software.
The sensors will supply the gas installation with multi-layered perimeter security, from the threat detection radars and underwater sonars systems through electro-optic systems supplying high-resolution images.
In addition, ELSEC will supply a dedicated suite of sensors for rapid interception boats.
The information received from all these sensors is being transmitted to the Command & Control center, where it is being processed and presented through the C²π application.
ELSEC’s Future Plans
According to Arie Chernobrov, the company’s vision involves further developments in the HLS field – installation security, airports and ports security, smart city. The rapidly growing IoT field will become another aspect of the company’s activity. The flexibility of their platform enables the incorporation of new and advanced technologies as they become available. To mention one example, advanced video analytics technologies both from Elbit and from other companies have already been applied by ELSEC recently.