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Saturday, March 16, 2019

IAI Elta Systems complete delivery of ELM-2288ER Air Defense Radars for the Philippine Air Force

Note: To new readers, please refer to older blog entries regarding this project, the last one published last 24 January 2019. To read it, please refer to the link below

"Delivery Imminent for the Philippine Air Force's 2 new Elta ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Air Defense Radars" - first posted 24 January 2019.


The IAI Elta Systems ELM-2288 AD-STAR air defense and surveilance radar system.
Photo taken from Asia Pacific Defense Journal.

Last January 2019, MaxDefense reported that the delivery of the two remaining Israeli-made ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Extended Radar air defense and surveillance radar systems was "imminent". Back then, the delivery of the said radars were already behind schedule due to issues within the manufacturer Elta Systems Ltd.

Based on updated information from MaxDefense sources, we can now confirm that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) already received the two AD-STAR long range air defense radars, and MaxDefense expects that these radars should already be installed at the radar stations they were assigned to be fixed.

With this, the physical delivery of the three (3) ELM-2288ER radars under the Philippine Air Force's Air Defense Radar acquisition project under the Horizon 1 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program can be considered as complete, although Elta Systems could still be under contract to provide installation, training, and aftersales support to the Philippine Air Force.

The radars were acquired under a Government-to-Government (G2G) deal with the Israel's Ministry of Defense, which in turn has Elta Systems as the proponent.
These radars are assigned with the 580th Aircraft Control and Warning Wing, the unit under the Philippine Air Force that is in charge of air defense and surveillance radar systems. 

The AD-STAR radars will form part of the Philippine Air Defense system that comprises radars, fighter aircraft, and in the future may also include airborne early warning and conrol aircraft (AEW&C), ground based air defense systems (GBADS), and interconnectivity with air surveillance or radar equipment, and anti-aircraft systems of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Army.
Photo taken from the 580th ACWW's Facebook page.

When MaxDefense posted the blog last January 2019 where we mentioned that delivery of the two radars was imminent, the radars are not really that far from the Philippines. In fact, the radars were already in the territorial waters of the Philippines, although not yet in the hands of the Philippine Air Force.

Just a few days after we posted the blog, we received confirmation that the two radars were already received by the PAF and were en route for delivery to the Mt. Salakot Air Station in Palawan, and to Gozar Air Station in Lubang Island, Mindoro.

That was almost 2 months ago.

By now it is expected that both radars should already have been installed, although there could be integration works still ongoing, and its highly possible that both radars are not yet operational. It may take some more time, maybe a few more months, before the radar systems are ready and integrated into the Philippine Air Defense Control Center.

A typical example of what a radar mount and control structure looks like. MaxDefense believes that they could have made the building a little bigger in anticipation of space requirements, and probably more robust and modern looking.
Photo taken from the PAF 580th ACWW's Facebook page.

The IAI Elta Systems ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Extended Range radar:

The IAI Elta Systems ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Extended Range long range 3D air defense and surveillance radar has a claimed instrumented range of 480 kilometers, although it has a claimed typical fighter aircraft detection range of around 420 kilometers.

Based on the photo below, it appears that the entire western seaboard of the Philippine mainland would have air defense radar coverage with minor overlaps.

MaxDefense believes that a redundant system should also be in place, with a different bandwidth and capability cover these areas 24/7 even when one of the radar system is down for maintenance, or from damage.

This is from an old Flight Plan 2028 document during the Horizon 1 phase period, which shows the planned locations of 7 proposed air defense radars in the country. The latest version of the PAF's radar proposal now covers 8 locations, thus the PAF is planning to acquire 5 more long range air defense radars within the Horizon 2 phase.
Photo taken from PAF's old website.

Photo above shows the estimated coverage of the three Elta Systems ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Extended Range radars once they are all operational. It was assumed that the radars have a maximum range of around 450 kilometers. The coverage of the Elta Systems ELM-2106NG tactical radar, which MaxDefense believes is in Wallace Air Station in La Union, can also be seen.
Photo shared by a MaxDefense contributor who wish to remain anonymous.

Horizon 2 Radar Acquisition Plans:

With the air defense radars ordered as part of the Horizon 1 phase already delivered, we now look forward to the planned acquisition of more air defense radars under the Horizon 2 phase.

In previous blog entries and Facebook posts, MaxDefense confirmed that there is indeed a program to acquire five (5) long rage air defense radars under the Air Surveillance Radar System acquisition program. The project was allocated an Approved Budget for Contract (ABC) worth Php5.5 billion, which on the average, is greater than the allocation made during the Horizon 1 phase.

MaxDefense previously reported that among those contending for the project include IAI Elta Systems with the same ELM-2288ER AD-STAR Extended Range from Israel, Lockheed Martin with their AN/TPS-77 long range air defense radar from the United States, the Mitsubishi Electric FPS-3 air defense radar from Japan, Thales Ground Master 400 from France, and offers from Saab, and companies from India and UK.

It now remains to be seen on how the Philippine Air Force will go through with their next batch of radar acquisitions, with experience now with them after the initial purchase.


  1. yes this is a better color background...easier on the eyes

  2. Does the civilian sector have radars of their own? What about the Civil Aviation Authority, flying schools, airports, PAG-ASA? Can those augment the PAF aerospace watching capabilities?


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