The world of airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems is filled with technological marvels, and the EL/M-2075 Phalcon certainly ranks among them.
Developed by Israel’s renowned Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the Phalcon is an advanced system that provides airborne surveillance, command, control, and communications capabilities.
The Phalcon’s radar and electronic systems represent a significant leap in technology and operational capability, ensuring it remains a highly valuable asset for any modern air force.
Origins & the Boeing 707
The development of the EL/M-2075 Phalcon traces its roots back to the early 1980s, when Israel saw a need for a more sophisticated AEW&C system to replace or supplement their existing inventory of E-2C Hawkeye aircraft.
To meet this requirement, Elta Systems began developing the Phalcon system.
Unlike conventional AEW&C systems that use a rotating disc radar mounted in a large dome above the aircraft, the Phalcon employs an advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
This radar, housed in a fixed radome, gives the system a number of advantages, including the ability to track numerous targets in multiple sectors simultaneously.
The first aircraft to be fitted with the Phalcon system was a Boeing 707. The choice of this aircraft was logical, given its size, range, and reliability.
The 707 platform provided ample space for the radar system and other electronic equipment, as well as accommodation for crew members.
Over time, the Phalcon system has been installed on a variety of other aircraft, such as the C-130 Hercules and the Ilyushin Il-76, showing its adaptability to different platforms.
The Phalcon system has seen widespread use around the world, with countries like Chile, India, and Israel operating the system.
This global operational use is a testament to the capabilities of the Phalcon and its continued relevance in modern warfare scenarios.
At the heart of the Phalcon’s operational capabilities is its advanced radar and sensor suite, which enables the system to detect and track airborne and surface targets at long range.
The system can manage multiple threats simultaneously, prioritizing them and directing friendly assets to engage as needed.
Furthermore, the Phalcon’s advanced communications suite enables it to function as a command and control hub, coordinating actions between different units and platforms.
The EL/M-2075 Phalcon’s electronics package is truly state-of-the-art.
The core of the system is the AESA radar, which offers superior performance compared to conventional mechanically scanned array radars. This type of radar enables high-speed tracking of multiple targets and has a faster update rate.
In addition to the radar, the Phalcon is equipped with a range of other sensors and electronic systems. These include electronic intelligence (ELINT) and signals intelligence (SIGINT) systems, as well as advanced communication and data links.
The system’s integrated Electronic Support Measures (ESM) can detect and analyze enemy radar and communication signals, contributing to the overall situational awareness.
The Phalcon’s communication systems enable it to share information quickly and efficiently with other friendly assets, enhancing the overall effectiveness of joint operations. It can provide a real-time picture of the battlefield to commanders, making it a powerful force multiplier.
The EL/M-2075 Phalcon is a testament to the power of advanced electronics in modern warfare. Its exceptional radar, sensors, and communication systems make it one of the most potent AEW&C platforms in service today.
Whether installed on a Boeing 707 or another capable aircraft, the Phalcon system provides unparalleled situational awareness and command and control capabilities, underlining its strategic value on the modern battlefield.
As technology continues to advance, the Phalcon remains a testament to the innovative prowess of Israel’s aerospace industry.