IAI supplies SATCOM terminals for Western fighter jets

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced the completion of the delivery of dozens of SATCOM (Satellite Communication) terminals with a conformal electronically-steered antenna for fighter aircraft.

By Erin Viner

SATCOM terminals are based on AESA (Active Electronic Scanned Array) technology for installation on advanced 4.5 generation Western fighter jets.

IAI is a government-owned manufacturer of state-of-the-art aerial and astronautic systems for both military and commercial markets, including air and missile defense, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), ground robotics, precision-guided weapons, special-mission aircraft, civil aircraft, fighter jets and space-based systems. Other specialties produced by the firm include reconnaissance satellites and radar to all aspects of command, control, and communications, computing and cyber, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems (C5ISR).

The firm designs products needed by the IDF as well as other militaries abroad; and the pioneer airborne SATCOM systems have been deployed worldwide on hundreds of military aircraft in a variety of models.

“We are proud of pioneering SATCOM technologies for fighter jet aircraft, and of bringing the confrmal SATCOM terminal to the market,” said Adi Dulberg, General Manager of Intelligence Communications and EW Division at IAI-ELTA in a company statement.Completing the delivery of dozens of these systems to our customer is an important milestone for IAI. Conformal terminals are the future of airborne SATCOM and are enabled through IAI’s leadership in AESA technologies. By utilizing our AESA expertise to provide a breakthrough in airborne beyond line-of-sight communications, IAI is highlighting its innovative spirit and cutting-edge capabilities,” he added.

The “beyond line-of-sight solution ensures seamless voice and data communications, at any location, and even during fast, low-altitude flight. Utilizing a unique flush-mounted antenna, the compact AESA SATCOM system eliminates antenna and radome drag, and is therefore optimally suited to a fighter aircraft’s aggressive flight envelope, as well as to other platforms requiring low-drag performance,” said an IAI press release, underscoring, “By relying on a single LRU phased array, the technology is installed and integrated smoothly and ensures a low life cycle cost. With a high-performance and robust network design, the system connects hundreds of registered users, and switches seamlessly between frequencies, at any given moment, according to the mission scenario and requirements.”

The ground-breaking SATCOM technology was displayed last month at the Satellite 2022 exhibition in Washington D.C., considered the largest and most important global event related to satellite technology in the industry.