Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. has unveiled its MIC-AD system, which displays on a single screen all the threats that air defenses need to deal with in a single defined sector, including Patriot anti aircraft and anti-ballistic missile batteries, Iron Dome anti rocket batteries, the future Magic Wand intermediate range rocket interceptor, Spider antiaircraft batteries, combat jets, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
A single command and control system for the simultaneous management of all weapons systems is Rafael's answer to the problems of crowded skies that bedeviled the Israel Air Force during the 2006 Second Lebanon War and 2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. There were UAVs operating in a limited air space, alongside combat jets, attack helicopter, and cargo planes; rocket artillery batteries firing from deep inside Israeli territory toward enemy targets and could inadvertently down a planes returning from a bombing sortie; and anti-rocket interceptors constantly firing against income barrages. And that was just the start.
In the coming years, Israel's arsenal will be expanded to include new active defense systems, alongside more accurate precision rocket systems, which will further crowd the air space.
"With this system, my operating environment is much better, with a constantly up-to-date and relevant picture of the skies," Rafael marketing and business development manager Col. (res.) Meir Ben Shaya, a former Air Force air control commander told "Globes".
"All the systems now in use by the IDF operate separately, and there is no communication between them. The concept of the new control system is for air units to talk with each other. When an Israeli F-16 flies over Lebanon, while Iron Dome interceptor missiles and other rocket ordinance is flying all around deep into enemy territory, there is a real safety problem and need to manage the force differently," Ben Shaya added
"The clear aerial picture will optimize all the systems in the combat arena, so there will no concern that several systems will try to respond simultaneously to the same threat, and that an Iron Dome and Magic Wand interceptor will be launched against the same incoming rocket. The system will identify the threat, direct the response to the relevant unit, whose people will already manage the firing and deal with the threat."
Rafael unveiled the MIC-AD and its screen-rich command and control room that provides an up-to-date picture of the skies at the arms show accompanying the Fifth Latrun Conference. The Israel Air Force has not yet decided whether to procure the MIC-AD, or to continue using its current air command and control systems. However, foreign armies are showing interest. Ben Shaya says, "Aerial combat mediation is changing, and we're committed to a less conservative approach when it comes to operating force in a limited air space."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 6, 2011
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011