TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. has unveiled a new dual-band strategic defense radar that autonomously searches for, detects and tracks long-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and even satellites.

Dubbed Terra, the system mates IAI's Ultra radar — a very powerful and long-range UHF-band search radar presented at last summer's Paris Air Show — with a new S-Band active electronic scanned array (AESA) fire-control radar called Spectra.

Designed to search, detect, track and target multiple threats simultaneously, the new Terra system is operational with at least one customer nation, a company executive said Monday.

"The system is already operational," said Moshe Dehokerker, business development manager at Elta Systems, a subsidiary of IAI that serves as the nation's radar development and production house.

In a Nov. 10 interview, the Elta executive said inherent capabilities as well as redundancies designed into the integrated, dual-band Terra system offer unique advantages over single-band radars.

"It's hard to gain very long-range early warning with very accurate tracking in a single band. This combined system provides the range, accuracy and multi-target tracking capability into a single system. And due to redundancies, if something disturbs one radar for whatever reason, the system can rely on the other radar to continue the work."

He noted that the system provides full 360-degree coverage, with antennas automatically rotating to track targets. This video shows highlights the system's capabilities:

The firm is offering the S-Band AESA part of the dual-band Terra system — called Ultra — in ground-based or sea-based configurations.

"Ballistic and cruise missiles present a significant global threat to nations worldwide," said Nissim Hadas, IAI executive vice president and Elta president.

"The Terra system provides outstanding performance for its users for very long range early warning, detection and highly accurate tracking. It is designed to confront the full range of modern threats."


Opall-Rome is Israel bureau chief for Defense News. She has been covering U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation, Mideast security and missile defense since May 1988. She lives north of Tel Aviv. Visit her website at

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