Indra develops new ELINT system for the Spanish Navy

By Defence Industry Europe

Indra is one of the companies with the greatest weight within the Santiago programme, its electronic intelligence systems are widely used by the most modern armies around the world and it leads the development of new generation technologies in large European R&D programmes. As part of the programme, Indra is designing and developing an innovative electronic intelligence (ELINT) system for signals based on broadband digital reception which will be installed on one of the Spanish Navy’s ships to demonstrate the new operational capability

Mastery of the electromagnetic spectrum is one of the least known yet most important factors in ensuring the operational capabilities of an army and the security of any country. The Directorate-General for Armament and Material (DGAM) has awarded Indra a contract to develop and test, within the Santiago national electronic defence programme, the new generation of electronic intelligence systems that facilitate the detection and gathering of strategic information to guarantee Spanish Armed Forces’ access to and use of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Whenever a crisis arises anywhere on the planet and an international mission is activated to stabilize the area, all the prior work to gather intelligence on the electronic systems used by the adversary becomes one of the most important assets in guaranteeing the army’s superiority.

This is the information that ships, aircraft and terrestrial platforms use to ensure that their radars, sensors and communication systems retain their capabilities, despite the enemy’s attempts to interfere with their operations, and, in turn, restrict the adversary’s capabilities. Identifying the electromagnetic footprint of the radars used by each ship, aircraft and ground station is of vital importance in detecting threats, preventing attacks and choosing the most appropriate protective countermeasure.

However, the constant evolution of the enemy’s systems and the revolution brought about by their digitization obliges the Armed Forces to constantly update their capabilities. To this effect, Indra is addressing the development of electronic intelligence (ELINT) systems that enhance the Spanish Navy’s ability to detect, classify and extract the intelligence from the signals emitted by the radars of other armies.

The system incorporates the latest advances in digital signal processing to enable the Spanish Navy to adapt to any operational environment with greater flexibility. It’s a system that secures a better performance, larger range and greater sensitivity and allows for more streamlined data collection, simultaneously covering a wider bandwidth to detect the low-probability-of-intercept radars that some platforms used to try to hide. Their smaller size and lower energy consumption also reduce the Army’s logistical footprint, facilitating longer and uninterrupted operations.

The demonstrator to be delivered by Indra and installed on one of the Spanish Navy’s ships incorporates the technological blocks that serve as the basis for the development of the future electronic intelligence capabilities of the Army and the Air and Space Force, thus making the best use of the available resources and moving towards systems that can be integrated with more seamless data sharing.



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