How This Swedish Aircraft will Become New Eye in the Sky   

How This Swedish Aircraft will Become New Eye in the Sky   

Photo illus US Air Force
The E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft that provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications needed by commanders of U.S. and NATO air defense forces. As proven in Desert Storm, it is the premier air battle command and control aircraft in the world today. The E-3 Sentry is a modified Boeing 707/320 commercial airframe with a rotating radar dome. The dome is 30 feet (9.1 meters) in diameter, six feet (1.8 meters) thick, and is held 11 feet (3.3 meters) above the fuselage by two struts. It contains a radar subsystem that permits surveillance fromthe Earth's surface up into the stratosphere, over land or water. The radar has a range of more than 200 miles (320 kilometers) for low-flying targets and farther for aerospace vehicles flying at medium to high altitudes. The radar combined with an identification friend or foe subsystem can look down to detect, identify and track enemy and friendly low-flying aircraft by eliminating ground clutter returns that confuse other radar systems. (U.S. Air Force photo)

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The AWACS (airborne warning and control system) is a military capability that surveys the sky and gets a good look at other countries’ weaponry, military vehicles, and so on. This high-tech aircraft also has the ability to jam enemy radars. 

The newest AWACS model is called the GlobalEye. The plane itself is a Bombardier Global business jet, but Swedish defense company Saab has equipped it with an Erieye ER radar. That’s the large handle that is on top of the aircraft, giving it the power to detect missiles from almost anywhere. 

Although there are already ground radars, these cannot detect low incoming missiles until the near end. The AWACS can detect low incoming missiles with about 20 minutes till it reaches its target. This gives people much more time to take precautions and evacuate the area. The radar has the ability to detect missiles in any condition, whether that is in the day, night, or even hundreds of miles away. 

However, enemies have the tools and weaponry to detect radar waves and then jam them. The Erieye ER radar can counter this attack using the S band. The S band is a narrow tough-to-jam radar frequency. It is tough to jam because of its small beam and ultra low side lobes. The S band can be used for long range surveillance as it can detect enemy missiles from miles away. The GlobalEye not only holds the Erieye ER radar on top of the aircraft, but it also can hold two more radar systems on different areas of the aircraft. The other radar systems are devised to detect moving enemy vehicles on the ground. 

Once the AWACS designed by Saab is ready for use, the United Arab Emirates will claim three of them and put them out in the sky right away. 

The AWACS can accommodate anyone’s needs as customers can pick and choose which radar systems they want on the aircraft; while the Erieye ER radar is automatically assembled within the aircraft, according to