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CAEW – Conformal Airborne Early Warning Aircraft

Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 15, 2009






2 × Rolls-Royce BR710C4-11 turbofan engines
Engine Power


Maximum Speed (Mmo)
Mach 0.885
9 hours at mission radius of 185km, altitude 12,500m
Range at Mach 0.80

Mission Systems:

Mission Stations
6 × multi-purpose operator stations
CAEW and Control System
EL/W-2085 Radar
1-2 GHz and 2- 4GHz
Satellite Communications
Satcoms Frequency Band
Ku band, 12.5GHz-18GHz


The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) conformal airborne early warning and control (CAEW) aircraft was first unveiled in public at the UK’s 2008 Farnborough Air Show. The prime contractor, system developer and system integrator for the CAEW is Elta Systems Ltd, a subsidiary of IAI.

The CAEW aircraft is based on the G550 airframe from Gulfstream Aerospace of the USA. The operationally proven G550 CAEW aircraft is the third generation of airborne early warning and control systems developed by IAI Elta since the mid-1980s.

Gulfstream was awarded a contract for four (plus two options) G550 modified aircraft in August 2003. First flight of the modified aircraft was in May 2006 and it was delivered to Elta for the installation of the mission systems in September 2006. The first and second CAEW aircraft were delivered to the Israel Air Force in February and May 2008 and since then have been in operational use.

“The CAEW provides improved performance in terms of higher operating altitude, longer range and increased time on station.”

The Singapore Air Force has also ordered a number of CAEW aircraft to be delivered during 2009 and 2010.

The CAEW provides improved performance in terms of higher operating altitude, longer range and increased time on station. The main AEW performance advantages result from the capability to point the radar beams in any direction in space at any time, with the beam’s parameters controlled by the radar computer. The CAEW aircraft is based on the Gulfstream G550 airframe, which is an upgraded variant of the Gulfstream V-SP with improved aerodynamic performance. The aircraft is manufactured at the Gulfstream business jet production centre in Savannah, Georgia, USA and transferred to IAI Elta Systems Ltd in Ashdod, Israel.

Compared to the original G550, the CAEW redesigned aircraft has an increased zero-fuel weight, a modified structure, additional cabling, three (instead of one) power generators and a liquid cooling system to accommodate the mission equipment. One particular specification is the aircraft’s low drag aerodynamic profile.

IAI’s Bedek Aviation is contracted to provide the maintenance and logistic support for the Israeli CAEW aircraft.

CAEW cockpit

The baseline G550 aircraft uses a Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite and the two-man flight deck has a Gulfstream PlaneView cockpit. The CAEW flight deck provides the pilot with real-time 360°, three-dimensional AEW information.

Mission systems

The AEW system has six multi-purpose, Windows-based, operator stations with 24in colour monitors that are installed in the rear half of the main cabin. The forward section of the main cabin behind the cockpit accommodates the electronics.

The Elta AEW system provides rapid target acquisition and target information with total 360° coverage. Avoiding host aircraft obstruction is achieved by using the placement of a number of conformal antennae combined with dynamic beam allocation to the targets. The multiple conformal antennae provide the coverage without the need for a large mushroom-shaped radar system installed on comparable aircraft.

The aircraft is equipped with the Elta EL/W-2085 AEW system which includes a phased array airborne early warning radar, an identification friend or foe system, electronic support measures (ESM), electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) systems.

The system is highly automated and uses advanced multi-sensor data fusion techniques to cross-correlate data generated by all four sensors – the radar, IFF, ESM / ELINT and CSM / COMINT. The data is combined with an automatically initiated active search by one sensor for specific targets that have been detected by other sensors.

“The Elta AEW system provides rapid target acquisition and target information with total 360° coverage.”

The phased array airborne early warning radar, an active electronic steering array (AESA), operates in L and S bands (1GHz to 2GHz and 2GHz to 4GHz) and provides 360° azimuthal coverage. The system has high-accuracy three-dimensional tracking, low false-alarm rate, flexible and high target revisit time, electronic counter-countermeasures and programmable search and track modes of operation.

The modes of operation include track initiation, extended detection range mode with long dwell time, and target verification. When a target has been identified as a priority the radar switches to a high scan rate tracking mode with optimised beam to target characteristics.

The forward-facing hemisphere radar array and the weather radar are mounted in the nose radome. The lateral arrays are housed in conformal radomes along the sides of the forward fuselage. The radome located on the tailcone houses the aft facing hemispherical array.

The information friend or foe system uses the radar’s receive / transmit modules and antennae and provides target interrogation, decoding, target detection, location and target tracking.

The electronic support measures and electronic intelligence systems use multiple narrow and wideband receivers. The ESM / ELINT also provides the radar warning receiver function and supports the aircraft’s self-protection system. The antenna pods are mounted under the wingtips. An electronic support measures antenna is mounted in a fairing above the nose cone which houses the weather radar. The direction finding function uses differential time of arrival.

The automated communications intelligence system covers the high (HF) to very-high (VHF) frequency bands from 3MHz to 3GHz.


The aircraft’s communications suite provides network-centric operations capability and is interoperable with air force, navy and ground force assets and includes U/VHF, HF, satellite communications, voice over internet protocol (VoIP), secure voice, secure data link and intercom.

“The CAEW aircraft is powered by two Rolls-Royce BR710C4-11 turbofan engines.”

The aircraft is fitted with a robust jam-resistant full duplex EL/K-189 satellite communications and datalink. The satellite communications operates at Ku band, 12.5GHz to 18GHz. The satellite antenna dish and one planar array are housed in the vertical tail surface top fairing and another planar array is housed in a ventral blister radome. The antennae are dual axis stabilised with pointing capability. The carrier link can provide voice, data and compressed video.

The aircraft can be fitted with the data link specified by the customer country.

CAEW countermeasures

The aircraft is fitted with an integrated self protection suite with 360° radar warning receiver (RWR), missile approach warning system (MAWS), chaff and flare decoy dispensers and directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM).


The aircraft is powered by two Rolls-Royce BR710C4-11 turbofan engines rated at 68.4kN and fitted with full authority digital engine control (FADEC). The engines are fitted at the rear of the fuselage. The integral wing tanks have a fuel capacity of 23,400l and the fuel system is equipped with an automatic fuel distribution system to accommodate the changing fuel load during flight.

The aircraft is equipped with a Hamilton Sundstrand electrical power generation system and the CAEW aircraft also has power generators mounted on the engines providing 240kW of power.

Gulfstream was responsible for the design and supply of the liquid cooling system to accommodate the high power consumption of the airborne electronics.

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Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 14, 2009


F16 I



Wing span


Empty weight
Maximum take-off weight
Maximum take-off weight


129.4kN (29,000lb)


Manoeuvrability, g-limit
Over Mach 2


The F-16I Soufa (‘Storm’) is a modified variant of the F-16D block 50 and 52 fighter and ground attack aircraft, with the avionics and weapons systems capability modified to meet the requirements of the Israeli Air Force. Israel ordered 50 F-16I aircraft in 2001 and signed the agreement for an optional additional 52 aircraft in September 2001. The Israeli Air Force has selected the F16I in a two-seat configuration only.

The production programme, Peace Marble V, is the fifth acquisition of F-16s and will increase the number of Israeli Air Force F-16 aircraft to 362, giving the IAF the largest fleet of F-16 fighters apart from the USA.

The F16I Soufa made its maiden flight in December 2003. The first two aircraft were delivered to the IAF at the Ramon Air Base, in February 2004. Deliveries will be completed at a rate of about two a month over four years, with final delivery in 2009. By April 2008, 63 aircraft had been delivered.

There is a significant level of airframe co-production and avionics component production in Israel for the Soufa and for other variants of the F-16. IAI and Cyclone Aviation Products Ltd in Carmiel manufacture the ventral fins, rudders, horizontal stabilisers and engine access doors. The aircraft are assembled at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

F-16I Sousa fighter design

The F-16I is fitted with a pair of removable conformal fuel tanks provided by IAI. The conformal fuel tanks (CFT), holding 450gal of extra fuel, are mounted on both sides of the upper fuselage. The very low drag configuration CFTs have a very small effect on the aircraft’s agility, handling quality and flight limits. The use of the conformal tanks increases the aircraft’s mission range and combat endurance.

The fitting of conformal tanks makes the two wing inner store stations normally used for external tanks (stations 6 and 4, each rated at 4,500lb capacity) available for weapon carriage, doubling the aircraft’s air-to-ground weapons capacity.

The F16I is fitted with a dorsal avionics compartment. The first version produced with the dorsal compartment was the Israeli two-seat block 30 F-16D aircraft, produced in the late 1980s. The large dorsal compartment extends from the rear of the cockpit to the fin and houses additional avionics systems, chaff and flare dispensers and the aircraft’s in-flight refuelling receptacle.


The front cockpit is for the pilot and the rear cockpit is configured for the weapons systems operator or, with the change of a single switch, for a pilot instructor.

“The F-16I Soufa fighter aircraft are assembled at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility in
Fort Worth, Texas.”

The Elbit Dash IV display and sight helmet system enables the pilot to aim the weapon by looking the target. Dash IV shortens the lock-on procedure time for engagements. The helmet measures the pilot’s line of sight to the target so the sensors, avionics and weapons are slaved to the target. Dash IV improves situation awareness by helping the pilots to visually detect targets at high angles off the nose of the aircraft, providing critical information in any direction the pilot looks.

The Soufa is fitted with a wide angle head up display from Elop and high definition (120ppi) 4in x 4in colour multi-function displays supplied by Astronautics CA of Petah Tikva, Israel.

Other new features include a colour moving map display, digital video recording equipment, cockpit lighting and external strip lighting compatible with night vision goggles and a high capacity data transfer set.


The Soufa has an advanced avionics suite including general avionics computer, colour display processors and interfaces all produced by Elbit Systems.

The communications systems include a Rafael UHF/VHF radio and an HF radio, Elta satellite communications and an IAI integrated tactical video data link.

The navigation system includes a combined ring laser gyro inertial navigation system and global positioning system (RLGINS/GPS) and a digital terrain system. Rafael developed the algorithms for the digital terrain system.

Weapon systems

Elbit is supplying the aircraft’s central mission computer, the signal processing unit for the displays and the stores management systems. RADA Electronics Industries in Netanya, Israel, and Smiths Aerospace, USA, have developed the aircraft’s data acquisition system with an advanced digital data server and data recording system. Israel Military Industries supplies most of the weapons pylons and racks and the external fuel tanks.

The mission data and video is downloaded to a ground debriefing station provided by RADA. The system has potential for three-dimensional, multi-aircraft mission creation.

“The navigation system includes a combined ring laser gyro inertial navigation system and global positioning system.”

The Rafael Litening II targeting and navigation pod is equipped with a third generation forward looking infrared (FLIR), charge-coupled device (CCD) television, laser spot tracker and rangefinder and infrared marker. The system enables the pilot to detect, identify, acquire and track ground targets for the delivery of conventional and precision guided weapons, such as laser guided or GPS guided bombs.

The aircraft is also equipped with the Lockheed Martin LANTIRN navigation pod which provides night navigation and all-weather automatic terrain following.

Air-to-air missiles

The air-to-air missiles will be the short range Python 4 and Python 5 and the short range to beyond visual range radar-guided Derby, both supplied by Rafael.

The all-weather Derby has an active radar seeker, look down / shoot down capability, lock on before or after launch, and programmable electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM). The lock on before launch mode is deployed for tight dogfights.

The F16I will be equipped with the Rafael Python 5 air-to-air missile when development has been completed. The Python 5 is capable of lock on after launch and uses imaging infrared guidance. The new seeker uses a dual wavelength focal plane array and is equipped with robust infrared counter countermeasures capability.

Air-to-ground systems

The air-to-surface weapons are carried on the two pairs of inboard underwing stations and include anti-ship missiles, anti-radiation missiles, laser guided bombs, GPS guided bombs and Israeli Military Industries (IMI) runway attack munitions. The F-16 aircraft has been used in carriage trials of IMI’s STAR-1 anti-radiation weapon which is in the development phase.

F-16I Soufa fighter countermeasures

The electronic warfare suite, being supplied by Elisra, includes radar warning receivers, missile approach warners and jamming systems, including the Elisra SPS 3000 self-protection jammer which is installed in the large spine. The chaff and flare dispenser is supplied by Rokar.

F-16I radar

The aircraft has the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-68(V)9 multi-mode radar, which has five times the processing speed and ten times the memory capacity of the previous APG-68 radars on the F-16. Elta is involved in the co-production of the radar.

“The F16I will be equipped with the Rafael Python 5 air-to-air missile.”

The modes of operation include high resolution synthetic aperture (SAR) ground mapping and terrain following. The radar provides autonomous, all-weather, stand-off precision weapon delivery. Air-to-air modes include range while search, air combat mode, multiple target track while scan, cluster resolution, single target tracking and target illumination pulse Doppler tracking. The radar increases the air-to-air detection range by 30% compared to earlier generation systems.


The Soufa is powered by the Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-229 increased performance engine (IPE). This new, more powerful engine allows the aircraft a maximum take-off weight of 23,582kg. The aircraft is also fitted with heavyweight landing gear.

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