Rafael and Hensoldt to merge electronic warfare kit on German Typhoon jets

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JERUSALEM — Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and German sensor specialist Hensoldt have teamed up to develop a new electronic warfare capability for the German Air Force, the companies announced last week.

The plan is to “integrate and upgrade Rafael’s Sky Shield Electronic Warfare Module as a mature, ready-to-use Escort Jammer (ESJ) with Hensoldt’s latest Sensitive Airborne Electronic Attack National Technology”, known as the Kalaetron attack jammer, the companies said in a joint statement.

An initial operational capability is envisaged for 2028.

The companies signed an exclusive association agreement in Tel Aviv on October 18. Thomas Müller, Hensoldt’s CEO, was present alongside Israeli Yaov Har-Even, Rafael’s chairman and CEO, who is also a retired major general in the country’s armed forces. .

The combined capability will allow the Luftwaffe to adapt the Eurofighter Typhoon into an Electronic Attack (EA) platform. “EA’s new pod uses the existing Litening Pod interfaces, already combat-proven on the Typhoon, greatly simplifying integration efforts and saving valuable resources,” the companies said.

Rafael manufactures the Litening and Reccelite targeting and reconnaissance modules which are already in use on the Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter Typhoon and on the aircraft of other NATO members.

“Our companies are experts in airborne electronic warfare and combine the latest technologies with combat-proven equipment,” said Thomas Müller. Rafael’s Har-Even hailed the partnership as an important step in expanding Rafael’s strategic investments in Germany. “This collaboration is a direct result of Rafael’s strategy to enforce localization and ensure local sovereignty. Hensoldt and Rafael share a common vision, unique knowledge and an organizational culture of excellence,” he said.

Rafael already has a foothold in the German defense market. His Trophy active protection system was installed on German tanks and he established a new Germany-based company for the sale and production of the system with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and General Dynamics European Land Systems. Rafael also sells EuroSpike in Germany through a joint venture with Diehl Defense GmbH and Rheinmetall Electronics. Raphael too partnered with Atos on a “glass battlefield” program that provides a three-dimensional image for mobile operations.

German Hensoldt has teamed up with Israeli companies in the past. Last year, the German company won a contract with Israel Aerospace Industries to supply new radars to modernize The German ballistic missile tusks. Hensoldt has also partnered with Elta, a subsidiary of IAI, to work on new developments for underwater masts.

Seth J. Frantzman is the Israeli correspondent for Defense News. He has covered conflicts in the Middle East since 2010 for various publications. He has experience covering the international coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and he is co-founder and executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.

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