Lockheed Martin, Diehl and Saab unveil Falcon air defence weapon system

Talal Husseini 19 February 2019 (Last Updated February 19th, 2019 14:55)

Lockheed Martin has teamed up with Saab and Diehl Defence to deliver the Falcon air defence weapon system, which is designed to take down short and medium-range air threats.

Lockheed Martin, Diehl and Saab unveil Falcon air defence weapon system
Lockheed Martin has partnered with Saab and Diehl on the Falcon air defence system, which is effective against small and medium-range air threats. Credit: Saab.

Lockheed Martin has teamed up with Saab and Diehl Defence to deliver the Falcon air defence weapon system, which is designed to take down short and medium-range air threats.

The system was unveiled at IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Falcon uses Lockheed Martin’s SkyKeeper command and control battle manager, with an integrated 40km range Infrared Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled (IRIS-T) SLM interceptor and vertical launcher developed by Diehl Defence, and Saab’s 360° AESA Giraffe 4A radar.

A Saab spokesperson told Naval Technology: “The Giraffe 4A radar provides the Tactical Operations Centre with continuous updates on the location of all tracked targets. Being a multifunctional radar means it provides a simultaneous picture of airborne tracks, “sense and warn” of incoming rockets and mortars and targeting data for the SkyKeeper missile system C2.

“In addition, the G4A is capable (one of the few sensors in its class to do so) to precisely track the target-bound interceptor in flight, as well as the target.”

“In addition, the G4A is capable (one of the few sensors in its class to do so) to precisely track the target-bound interceptor in flight, as well as the target. Such information can be used to make the intercept even more robust i.e. a maximum probability of intercept. Collectively, this gives longer decision time for the commander and enables the rest of the system components to maximise their performance.”

Diehl’s IRIS-T SLM system is a highly mobile interceptor that can engage multiple targets simultaneously, working in all weather conditions.

Using an open architecture design, the Falcon air defence weapon system can integrate any air operations centre.

Lockheed Martin vice-president and integrated air and missile defence deputy Scott Arnold said: “Our international customers are looking for the next generation short and medium range air defence solution. Falcon is threat driven and ready now. Falcon is a great example of working with our customers to identify potential gaps and find rapid-response solutions to take on today’s evolving threats.”

The types of threats that the Falcon can prevent include unmanned aerial systems (UAS) carrying lethal payloads, such as warheads and weaponry, cruise missiles that can attack from any direction, and winged aircraft with extended-range ordnance capabilities.