Boeing 707 Phalcon
Keen to market it's own AEW system for the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and for export, Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAL) developed the Phalcon Airborne Early Warning, Command and Control System and mounted it on a Boeing 707 airframe. The Phalcon system has attracted interest from a variety of countries, however, when China expressed an interest in mounting the radar system on a Russian-built Ilyushin/Beriev A-501 Mainstay in Jul 2000, the USA eventually blocked the sale.
The Phalcon uses an ELTA EL/M-2075L-band conformally-mounted active phased array 360º electronic scanning antenna, consisting of 768 elements each individually controlled by a transmit/receive module, instead of a more conventional mechanically rotating radar antenna under a rotordome. The highly advanced capabilities of the Phalcon system are centered on a data fusion procedure, which continuously correlates the data gathered by the radar, IFF, ESM/ELINT and COMINT sensors. When any of these sensors indicate the presence of a target, the system automatically initiates an active search by any other complimentary sensors. Additional data from ground-based air defence sensors are then fused to create a complete battlespace picture, rather than just raw detection of airborne targets.
The Phalcon system was first made public at the 1993 Paris Air Show, but so far only one fully functioning Phalcon system has been exported to Chile, where it equips the Fuerza Aerea de Chile and has been named 'Condor'. It is likely that at least one IAF 707 has been equipped with the Phalcon system, but so far no photographs of the aircraft have been published. Finally, it is believed that a smaller partial system has been fitted to a SAAF 707, giving the South African's a limited AEW&C capability for the first time.
It was reported in August 2003 that American State Department objections to Israel selling the Phalcon AEW radar system to India had been removed. It is believed that India will pay around $1 billion for 3 Phalcon systems to be integrated onto three Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft operated by the Indian Air Force.
It is understood that IAI are also developing a miniaturised version of the Phalcon system for installation on the 3 Gulfstream G550 intelligence gathering platforms ordered for the IAF. The system will comprise nose and tail arrays operating in the S-band and side-mounted arrays operating in the L-band.