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IDEX: Lockheed Martin, SAAB and Diehl collaborate for new Falcon air defence

Posted 18 February 2019 · Add Comment

Lockheed Martin, Diehl Defence and Saab announced a new collaboration to develop the Falcon air defence weapon system as the short and medium-range solution for current and emerging threats.


Unveiled at the IDEX defence show in Abu Dhabi, the three companies – from the US, Germany and Sweden respectively – shared a stage to introduce the Falcon system which integrates Diehl's 40-kilometre range Infra-Red Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled (IRIS-T) SLM interceptor and vertical launcher, Saab's 360-degree AESA Giraffe 4A radar through Lockheed Martin's flexible SkyKeeper command and control battle manager. Falcon's open architecture allows the system to easily integrate into any air operations centre.
Scott Arnold, Lockheed Martin vice president and deputy for integrated air and missile defence said Gulf forces such as the UAE were looking closely at the Falcon as a replacement for the Hawk air defence systems.
Threats such as unmanned aerial systems carrying lethal payloads, cruise missiles that can attack from any direction, and fixed and rotary winged aircraft capable of delivering ordnance at extended ranges, demand a technologically advanced solution that Falcon delivers, he said.
"Our international customers are looking for the next generation short and medium range air defence solution. Falcon is threat driven and ready now," Arnold said
The Diehl IRIS-T SLM is a highly manoeuvrable interceptor fired from a 360-degree vertical launcher with the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously in all weather conditions. The Saab Giraffe 4A AESA radar offers high discrimination capabilities and leverages gallium nitrate technology to detect and track both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft and drones, while simultaneously featuring an Automatic Sense & Warn functionality. Lockheed Martin's SkyKeeper command and control battle manager gives commanders unparalleled situational awareness with real-time early warning of incoming threats and optimized engagement solutions for critical decision making.
According to the three companies these elements make the Falcon weapon system the only integrated short and medium-range missile defence system available in the world with the capabilities required to defeat current and emerging air threats.
Each system is capable of tracking up to 800 targets at the same time – making it capable of defencing mass armed drone attacks. The IRIS-T missiles do not enter infra-red stage until jettisoning an aerodynamic hood having been launched as utilising data tracking from the radar system.
"Falcon is a great example of working with our customers to identify potential gaps and find rapid-response solutions to take on today's evolving threats," Arnold said

 

 

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