Hensoldt and Rafael team on integrating and offering Electronic Warfare capabilities to the Luftwaffe

Source: Hensoldt

Sensor solutions provider Hensoldt and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd. are joining forces to offer a readily-available, state-of-the-art, and mature solution to the Luftwaffe’s requirement of airborne electronic warfare capabilities with Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 2028. The exclusive teaming agreement was signed in Tel Aviv on 18th October 2022, by Thomas Müller, CEO Hensoldt , and Maj. Gen (ret.) Yoav Har-Even, President and CEO of Rafael.

Hensoldt and Rafael agreed to embark on a joint endeavour to integrate and enhance Rafael’s Sky Shield airborne electronic warfare pod as a mature off-the-shelf Escort Jammer (ESJ), with the latest airborne electronic attack national sensitive technology (KALÆTRON Attack) by Hensoldt. This new capability supports the Luftwaffe’s decision to adapt the Eurofighter Typhoon into an electronic attack (EA) platform. The new EA pod utilizes the existing interfaces of the Litening Pod, already combat-proven on the Typhoon, thus significantly simplifying the integration efforts and saving invaluable resources.

Together, Hensoldt and Rafael bring the necessary experience not only as solution providers for ESJ, but also in the programme environment of the Eurofighter and related integration and certification processes.

Hensoldt has developed the “Kalætron Attack” Airborne Jamming System which recently confirmed its effectiveness against various enemy air defence radars. It is part of Hensoldt’s fully digital ‘Kalætron’ product family, which is used in self-protection and signal intelligence systems in the German armed forces. In addition to cognitive software elements, the core comprises a fully digitised, broadband sensor and an electronically controllable, software defined jammer. Metallic 3D printing enabled a condensed design of the electronic components so that the jammer can be easily integrated into pod formats commonly used worldwide or directly into bodies of various flying platforms. The system’s effectiveness and responsiveness are also based on artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, which enable the classification of unknown threats in the field and the rapid evaluation of large amounts of data. In doing so, the many years of in-depth experience in the development of jamming techniques against radars were efficiently combined with the latest techniques of applying Edge AI computing.

Rafael’s Sky Shield Escort Jammer is a military-off-the-shelf solution already delivered to several customers worldwide, therefore allowing for easy integration onto fast jet platforms. Sky Shield leverages the vast experience of Rafael in the Electronic Warfare domain and its experience with German Air Force platforms. By using AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) technology, the single wideband jamming pod covers present and future high frequency range while providing a high Effective Radiation Power (ERP). Sky Shield is able to generate simultaneous jamming and deception transmissions against multiple threats, and its commonality with existing technology, coupled with its open architecture, allow Hensoldt and Rafael to offer a very robust growth potential to address future challenges and provide for exclusive national building blocks. Rafael serves as a centre of excellence for Electronic Warfare and is the operator of Israel’s national EW range, possessing significant world-leading expertise in this domain. Some of Rafael’s combat-proven, end-to-end airborne solutions are in service in Germany, including the LITENING and RECCELITE Electro-Optic pods on the Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter Typhoon. The company’s cutting-edge, life-saving defence solutions are in service with numerous NATO-member nations, including the U.S and across Europe.

“Our companies are experts in airborne electronic warfare and combine latest technology with battle-proven equipment”, says Thomas Müller, CEO Hensoldt. “Based on these skills and supported by existing government-to-government agreements, we are able to offer the Luftwaffe a sovereign solution to the timely capability transfer of the ECR Tornado and, at the same time, to expand the capabilities of the Eurofighter by an escort jamming solution proven in modern operational scenarios.”

Rafael’s President and CEO, Mr. Yoav Har-Even: “Our new partnership with Hensoldt is a significant milestone in expanding Rafael’s strategic investments in Germany. This collaboration is a direct result of Rafael’s strategy to apply localization and ensure local sovereignty. Hensoldt and Rafael share a common vision, unique knowledge, and an organizational culture of excellence. Under the leadership of Hensoldt, these will come together synergistically to provide the Luftwaffe with top-notch EW/EA capabilities, necessary to address current and future threats and challenges.”


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