By Paolo Valpolini
At EDEX 2018 Benha Electronic Industries exhibited its ESSR.21A secondary radar, which features a maximum range of 450 km and a minimum range of 11 km. It is capable to detect up to 1,000 targets at the same time with a range accuracy of 30 meters. It also exhibited the ESR 32-A primary radar, which since has further evolved, and at EDEX 2021 the same company unveils the ESR-32B, which from the electronic standpoint maintains most if not all the characteristics of its predecessor. A bi-dimensional L-Band radar working in the 1.2–1.4 GHz frequencies, it has been entirely designed and manufactured in Egypt. The radar exhibited in the outside area of this year Cairo event is the second prototype and represents the final version of the system. According to company officials the main differences are in the new cabinet and in the new bucket.
In the first version the antenna was a one-piece item and was mounted over the cabinet, which required quite a long time to install it and make it operational, with the need of external support. In the new configuration the ESR-32B is installed over a three-axle trailer which from front to back hosts the cabinet, which includes all electronics as well as the control console, followed by the area where the antenna is folded when in transport mode. Once the radar reaches its deployment position, hydraulic jacks on the platform allow first to move the antenna upwards keeping it horizontal as during transport. It is then rotated forward towards the front of the vehicle in order to put it in vertical position, thanks to a mechanism that includes a winch on top of the cabinet and a folding frame. At this point the antenna is fully deployed, in the transport configuration the two side elements of the antenna are folded over the central part, and bucket height ensures that the cabinet does not interfere with the lowest part of the antenna, which is thus free to rotate.
According to information provided, the antenna works with planar array antenna technology, exploits software defined radio waveform generation; digital receivers and digital signal processing with high improvement factor increase radar performances. Maximum instrumented range is declared at 250 km, with a 90% detection probability for a target with a 1m2 radar cross section, maximum detection altitude being 12,000 meters, the ESR 32-B being however designed to detect and track targets flying at low and medium altitudes. The emitted beam, average transmitted power is 800W, the beam itself having a horizontal width of 2.4° and a vertical one of 40°. In terms of resolution, that in range is of 150 meters while that in azimuth is of 2.4°. Coming to accuracy the declared range accuracy is of ±75 meters while that in azimuth is of 1.
The ERS-32B is fully networkable, and according to information obtained at EDEX the Egyptian Air Force intends using it as gap filler in those areas where the coverage provided by long range fixed radars might prove insufficient in case of tension; the sensor can be easily linked to a battalion-level command post, working also in stand-alone mode, or provide the cues to higher echelon air defence decision centres, when working in the networked mode. This was made possible due to the new configuration that gives to the ERS-32B a much higher mobility compared to the previous A model. EDR On-Line understood that a contract should be filed soon to Benha Electronic Industries, the company acting as system integrator for the Egyptian Air Force air defence system.
Photos by P. Valpolini