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Israel Now Flying New Phalcon AWACS

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  • Joseph M. Hochstein
    Aero-News Net Mon, 02 Oct 06 Israel Now Flying New Phalcon AWACS Israeli Radar Plane Superior To USAF E-3 In Some Ways
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2006
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      Aero-News Net
      Mon, 02 Oct '06

      Israel Now Flying New Phalcon AWACS
      Israeli Radar Plane Superior To USAF E-3 In Some Ways

      The State of Israel is now flying a state-of the-art Phalcon
      Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) surveillance aircraft
      that in some ways is superior to the Boeing E-3's flown by the US
      Air Force.

      The new aircraft, based on a Gulfstream G-550 platform, is called
      the Eitam which means "Sea Eagle" in Hebrew. Israeli officials
      marked the arrival of the first aircraft at a ceremony attended
      by numerous US and Israeli dignitaries Sept. 19 at Lod Air Force
      Base near Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. This is the first of
      three aircraft scheduled to be delivered over the next three
      years. The $50 million Gulfstream, considered the most
      prestigious and luxurious of all executive business aircraft,
      departed Savannah, GA and refueled in Canada and Ireland before
      arriving at its new home.

      Designed to offer a long range supplement to Israel's fleet of
      smaller, less capable surveillance models, Israel plans to put
      the Phalcon to work almost immediately. A long-range detection
      capability is considered crucial in light of Iran's publicly
      stated policy of wiping Israel off the map -- the Phalcon
      provides an effective tool for monitoring the Iranian war machine.

      Designed and built by Israel Aircraft Industries and its
      subsidiary, Elta Systems, the Israeli AWACS carries a home-grown,
      conformal phased-array radar, and other equipment to capture and
      analyze enemy electronic transmissions. This electronic package
      fits underneath the Gulfstream fuselage and is designed to be
      aerodynamically neutral. It also has a communications system that
      can handle satellite signals as well as a wide array of other
      transmissions. There are six personnel on board to handle all
      this gear, plus the flight crew, according the intelligence
      review publication, Strategy Page.

      As ANN reported, Israel has already sold the same system to India
      with the equipment installed on a Russian-built Ilyushin Il-76.
      It is also offering the Phalcon system to South Korea in
      competition with Boeing which is offering a phased array version
      of its own using a B737 platform.

      Several years ago, Israel had planned to sell an earlier model of
      the Phalcon to China, but under strenuous US and NATO objections,
      the deal fell through.

      According to Strategy Page, the Phalcon radar is, in some
      respects, superior to that used by the Americans. Using phased
      array radar instead of a slowly rotating dome, the Phalcon can
      update operators every two to four seconds instead of 20 to 40
      seconds as is the case on the E-3 version of the venerable Boeing

      Israel has not had an effective long range early-warning system
      since it retired its earlier fleet twelve years ago. The Eitam
      has a loitering time of twelve hours and is expected to cruise at
      35,000 feet.

      "These projects are meant to provide us with the most advanced
      radars in the world," Israel Air Force (IAF) commander Maj. Gen.
      Eliezer Shkeidy said at the Sept. 19 ceremony. "The aircraft is
      meant to significantly bolster the professional command and
      control solution and the expansion of the operational eyes of

      Shkeidy added, "Throughout the years of Israel's existence,
      defense of the skies has been the IAF's primary mission. Over the
      years, however, the threats have changed... and the potential for
      an existential threat to the state is taking form while the bells
      of peace are still, to our misfortune, far away."

      The general never uttered the word Iran.
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