First C295 development aircraft fitted with an AEW&C rotodome. (Photo: Airbus Military)
June 21, 2011 defpro.com
Airbus Military and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) are combining forces to jointly develop and market a new version of the Airbus Military C295 platform fitted with an Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system produced by ELTA Systems, a wholly owned IAI subsidiary. The primary sensor of the AEW&C will be the IAI/ELTA 4th Generation Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar with integrated IFF.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to this effect was signed today at the Le Bourget Airshow by IAI Corp. VP and ELTA President, Mr. Nissim Hadas, and Airbus Military CEO Mr. Domingo Ureña. With this agreement, Airbus Military will expand its mission capability to the Airborne Early Warning & Command sector, while ELTA will be expanding its AEW&C fleet to include a turboprop platform.
The C295 AEW&C has been designed to provide high quality 360 Surveillance, creating in real-time an integrated Air and Maritime Situation Picture and Electronic Order of Battle. The AEW&C Situation Picture is shared with friendly forces via Network Centric data links.
A C295 fitted with a rotodome demonstrator is conducting flight trials from Airbus Military's Seville facility since 8th June. The initial tests have shown that the aircraft is aerodynamically an excellent platform for this purpose. ELTA Systems and Airbus Military are now conducting engineering studies to integrate the mission suite, including AESA radar, among other sensors, into the aircraft. The aircraft demonstrator can be seen on the static display at the Le Bourget Airshow.
Providing a new and very cost effective solution in the so far uncovered medium size market, the C295 AEW&C is both rugged and versatile. It can be configured with the full range of AEW&C sensor and control systems, including; AEW Radar, IFF, ESM/ELINT, CSM/COMINT, Self Protection Suite (SPS), Command & Control, Multi-Mode Radar, comprehensive communication suite including Network Centric Operation (NCO) Data Networks and Satellite Links.
Airbus Military CEO, Domingo Ureña, stated: “We see a growing demand emerging for medium size early warning systems and platforms at an affordable price for both air defense and homeland security. This cooperation between ELTA Systems and Airbus Military, which combines the excellent engineering skills and experience of our two companies in their respective fields, will provide the market with a highly efficient and affordable solution, the first in this market segment”.
IAI Corp. VP and ELTA President, Nissim Hadas, referring to the mutual cooperation agreement, noted:”The emerging conflicts across the globe are emphasizing the importance of special mission fleets. We are sure that by joining forces, we will offer the market the right solution with the right technology. Airbus Military and IAI/ELTA's superior capabilities in special mission aircraft, advanced sensors and system integration enable us to provide an effective and proven solution for these growing needs.”
The new generation C295 is the ideal aircraft for military transport and civil missions such as humanitarian aid, homeland security, maritime patrol, and environmental surveillance. Thanks to its robustness and reliability, and with simple systems, this medium sized tactical airlifter provides the wide versatility and flexibility required for personnel, troop and bulky/palletized cargo transportation, casualty evacuation, communication and logistic duties, or certified air-dropping capabilities. It is fitted with both civil and military technology equipment which ensures success in demanding tactical missions, as well as growth potential for future equipment installation and compatibility with the latest civil airspace environment. The C295 is part of Airbus Military’s family of light and medium airlifters which also includes the smaller C212 and CN235 platforms.
IAI/ELTA is a front-runner in the development of airborne radar systems and in particular AESA Radar for AEW&C aircraft. IAI/ELTA’s current 3rd Generation AEW&C products, the Gulfstream G550 Conformal AEW&C and the Ilyushin IL-76 AWACS, are the leaders in their respective categories, both in terms of performance and landmark design. The newest member of IAI/ELTA’s family of AESA Radars is a rotating dome radar combining both true 360o AESA radar and IFF in a unique low weight 4th Generation design.