Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR May 2013 Contents 36 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter MAY 2013
THE ISRAELI UNDERWATER
GAS RESERVOIRSARIEEGOZI // TEL AVIV
heir solution has begun in early March when
the natural gas started to flow from the sea rig
off the Israeli shore to land. The main mission
of protecting this valuable natural resource is
on the shoulders of the Israeli navy and airforce.
While the navy is performing the task and is still
trying to get the needed equipment for this special job,
the Israeli airforce (IAF) is better equipped to perform
the mission using various types of platforms. The IAF
is operating a variety of hardware to protect this new
potential target for terror organizations and unfriendly
For example, the Tamar production platform reaches
a height of about 290 meters, and its weight – including
the rig’s legs – amounts to some 34,000 tonnes. The
rig is located approximately 90 kilometers west of
Haifa. A 150-kilometer-long pipeline of approximately
45 centimeters in diameter connects it to the Ashdod
While the Israeli navy is responsible for the protection
of the gas facilities, the IAF is performing missions
that are aimed at detecting any sign of hostile action
targeting the rig and related equipment.
Unmanned air systems (UAS) are playing a major
role in this operation with the Israel aerospace
industries (IAI) Heron -1 (Shoval) in a maritime patrol
version patrolling the area. Navy personnel operate the
control station of this system on shore.
It is expected that the number of Heron-1s in
maritime patrol missions will grow and in parallel, other
platforms will join to enhance capabilities.
In recent months a special effort was made to
improve the dedicated sensors carried by the UAS.
These are currently special versions of the Elta
maritime radar and optical sensors. An Israeli source
said that other sensors, like SAR radars and GMTI
radars, will be needed.
Elta , the IAI subsidiary has developed a SAR/GMTI
radar system. The light version dubbed ELM-2055 can
be carried by the Heron-1 UAS.
The IAF effort will also involve its Eurocoptrer AS
565 SA (Atalef) helicopters. These are being operated
jointly with the navy from aboard its SAAR-5 missile
To improve the integration of these helicopters
with other platforms in the mission of protecting the
gas facilities, the IAF will equip them with a new very
advanced helmet mounted system (HMS).
The selection of the systems is expected soon after
tests are completed in various flight conditions.
The HMS will facilitate the integration of the Atalef
that are deployed on the Israeli navy's SAAR 5 missile
corvettes, with the Heron-1 unmanned air system
(UAS) maritime version.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has recently
unveiled its advanced Multiple-Intelligence (Multi-
INT) concepts for Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
maritime domain surveillance. This comprehensive and
unique solution provides valuable coverage of a broad
IAI is applying its experience gained from recent
projects completed and offered to foreign customers,
in order to develop and evaluate these advanced
Multi-INT concepts. The integrated Multi-INT system,
developed by ELTA Systems, IAI's subsidiary and
group, is based on a gamut of in-house produced
sensors and platforms that provide an affordable and
The system relies on coastal, aerial, space and
naval-based sensors combined with an intelligence
infrastructure layer. All sensors are interconnected
through a command, control and communications
network, providing integrated broad area surveillance,
situational awareness and intelligence exploitation
For coastal defense and protection of strategic
sites, IAI provides coastal defense radars and low-level
threat air defense radars, which can also be installed
on offshore rigs for point defense applications.
For further reinforcement of maritime surveillance,
additional in-house platforms and sensors may be
used according to the customer's requirements.
Additionally, IAI's novel Over-The–Horizon (OTH)
radar, operating in the High-Frequency (HF) band, can
be integrated into the system. This radar is capable
of looking over the horizon (OTH) for hundreds of
miles out to sea, employing phased array technology
IAI Maritime Heron
An ongoing security issue for Australia is the protection of offshore energy producing assets – especially those
located on the northwest shelf and Timor Sea. The importance of these various platforms is only likely to increase
in an energy-hungry world. In this context it is interesting to review what Israel – a newcomer to offshore resource
protection – is doing to safeguard assets of national importance.
2/05/13 3:52 PM
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