The IAI EL/W-2085 is an Airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) multi-band radar system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elta Electronics Industries of Israel. Its primary objective is to provide intelligence to maintain air superiority and conduct surveillance. The system is currently in-service with Israel and Singapore, and in the future Italy and the United States.
Design and features
The EL/W-2085 was developed from the single-band EL/M-2075 "Phalcon" system.
Instead of using a rotodome, a moving radar found on some AEW&C aircraft, the EL/W-2085 uses the active electronically scanned array (AESA), an active phased array radar. This radar consists of an array of transmit/receive (T/R) modules that allow a beam to be electronically steered, making a physically rotating rotodome unnecessary. AESA radars operate on a pseudorandom set of frequencies and also have very short scanning rates, which makes them difficult to detect and jam. Up to 100 targets can be tracked simultaneously to a range of 200 nmi (370 km), while at the same time, over a dozen air-to-air interceptions or air-to-ground attacks can be guided. The radar can be mounted on the side of the aircraft's fuselage or on the top inside a small dome. Either position gives the radar 360-degree coverage. The phased array allows positions of aircraft on operator screens to be updated every 2–4 seconds, rather than every 20–40 seconds as is the case on the rotodome AWACS.
Circa 2005 the Israeli Air Force purchased 5 Gulfstream G550 Eitam aircraft to serve as the new IDF platform for its newer generation of AEW systems. The new aircraft use the EL/W-2085 dual-band sensor suite, and are more capable and cheaper to operate than the older Boeing 707-based EL/M-2075. Extensive modifications were made to the Gulfstream's fuselage by IAI, such as the addition of protruding composite radomes, to house the radar arrays in conformal body modifications. In 2007, 4 similar G550-EL/W-2085 aircraft were purchased by the Republic of Singapore Air Force, to eventually replace its upgraded E-2C Hawkeyes. All 4 G550s are expected to be in-service by 2010.
- Israel - A number of Gulfstream G550 platforms with EL/W-2085 radar, called "Nahshon-Eitam" or "Eitam".
- Italy - After Israel chose the Italian M-346 advanced trainer aircraft for the Israeli Air Force in 2012, Italy ordered two G550-based AEW&C systems as industrial offset. The cost of the two systems is around US$750 million.
- Singapore - Four Gulfstream G550 platforms in service. Each costing approx US$375 million.
- United States - The US Navy announced its will purchase a Gulfstream G550 airframe that's modified for the conformal airborne early warning system (CAEW), with Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta Systems as prime contractor and systems integrator for the G550 CAEW aircraft. Whether the jet will actually carry the same internal systems isn't clear.
- Singapore Gets New AWACS
- "Israel to receive the first of three Eitam AEW aircraft". RF Design. February 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
- Egozi, Arie (23 March 2010). "Israeli air force showcases G550 surveillance fleet". Flight International. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
- Flight International: Singapore confirms new AEW purchase
- https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htecm/20070426.aspx Singapore to get new AWACS