Securing maritime borders and ensuring the safety of vessels and other important assets within a nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) constitute essential elements of Homeland Security. But today’s sea-based threats are complex and diverse, ranging from illegal fishing, smuggling, and human trafficking through to piracy and terrorism. In addition, timely and effective maritime Search & Rescue capabilities must be available around the clock and in all weather conditions. These challenges require an accurate and up to date Maritime Situation Picture (MSP) that extends from littoral waters all the way out to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
A wide range of systems and technologies are available to assist in achieving an effective MSP, including aerial, naval and ground platforms, all equipped with various sensors, such as radar, electro-optics, SIGINT and other types. While each has its advantages, the difficulty of providing comprehensive littoral/EEZ coverage while minimizing cost and staffing requirements remains constant. Aerial platforms provide highly accurate surveillance capabilities but continual operation requires commensurate budgetary and personnel resources. These requirements also hold true to naval platforms. While static ground-based sensors offer greatly simplified maintenance and staffing requirements, they are limited in coverage. For example, even the most powerful electro-optical systems are restricted in range and azimuth, and are hampered by weather conditions. Moreover, conventional radars offer advantages in terms of range, coverage, and all-weather performance but are bound to Line of Site, which precludes EEZ coverage.
To meet the challenge of providing a long-range MSP from a cost-effective ground-based system, ELTA Systems Ltd., the innovative defense and security electronics group within IAI, Israel’s largest aerospace and Defense Corporation, has developed the High Frequency Band Over-The-Horizon ELM-2270 Coastal Surveillance Radar (OTH). ELTA’s OTH solution is a state-of-the-art system that monitors activity within the nation’s EEZ by employing surface wave propagation and the latest advances in digital signal processing to track both sea surface targets and low flying aircraft far beyond the local horizon.
The OTH System transmits a wide-angle beam, simultaneously covering 120° in azimuth with the possibility of reducing range and increasing coverage up to 180, using a unique circular antenna array; while the receiving station, comprised of vertical antennas arrays, provides instantaneous coverage of the entire sector. Phased array technology and unique interference cancellation techniques, developed and manufactured by ELTA through decades of experience in advanced radar design, facilitates reliable, persistent, broad area maritime coverage at all times, regardless of atmospheric conditions or sea state.
Delivering an accurate, effective Maritime Situation Picture (MSP) at long range from a cost-effective ground station with minimal maintenance and personnel requirements, ELTA’s ELM-2270 OTH is the innovative solution for maritime safety and security.