A sixth IAI Elta Systems EL/M-2084 radar may be deployed by Israel as the country contemplates deploying a sixth Rafael Advanced Defence System Iron Dome surface-to-air missile battery to help protect the country against rocket attacks by Hamas insurgents in the Gaza Strip.
The Jerusalem Post reported on 18th November that Israel’s air force is ready to deploy a sixth Iron Dome battery to enhance protection against the attacks.
The EL/M-2084 radar is an S-band system optimised to detect incoming rocket and artillery rounds in environments with significant ground clutter and electromagnetic noise. It forms an integral part of the overall Iron Dome architecture. The radar has a detection range of up to 474 kilometres (256 nautical miles) and can detect weapons launching points at a 100km (54nm) range. When the antenna is fixed, the EL/M-2084 provides up to 120 degrees of azimuth search, although this increases to 360 degrees when the antenna is rotating. Meanwhile, up to 100,000 feet (30,480 metres) of elevation coverage is provided. When performing air surveillance, the EL/M-2084 can track up to 1,200 targets, with up to 200 targets-per-minute being detected when the radar operates in a weapons-location mode.
Although the Iron Dome system is being used to protect Israeli territory during the country’s ongoing Operation Pillar of Cloud military campaign against Hamas insurgents, the EL/M-2084 is probably performing a secondary role of identifying the position of Hamas rocket launchers for engagement by Israeli air force aircraft.