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Lockheed Martin-led group offers IR-enabled Falcon to counter missiles

20 Feb 2019

Falcon is driven by Diehl's 40-km range Infra-Red Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled (IRIS-T) SLM interceptor.

Security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin, along with Diehl Defence and Saab have together launched the Falcon air defense weapon system, a short- and medium-range air defense solution.

The Falcon integrates Diehl's 40-km range Infra-Red Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled (IRIS-T) SLM interceptor and vertical launcher, Saab's 360-degree AESA Giraffe 4A radar through Lockheed Martin's flexible SkyKeeper command and control battle manager. Falcon's open architecture allows the system to be integrated into any air operations center.

Threats such as unmanned aerial systems carrying lethal payloads, cruise missiles that can attack from any direction, and fixed and rotary winged aircraft capable of delivering ordnance at extended ranges, demand a technologically advanced counter measure, which the developers say that Falcon delivers.

'Next-generation air defense'

Scott Arnold, Lockheed Martin VP and deputy for Integrated Air & Missile Defense, commented "Our customers are looking for the next-generation short and medium range air defense solution. Falcon is a great example of our working with customers to identify potential gaps and find rapid-response solutions to take on today's evolving threats."

The Diehl IRIS-T SLM is a highly maneuverable interceptor fired from a 360-degree vertical launcher with the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously in all weather conditions. The Saab Giraffe 4A AESA radar offers high discrimination capabilities and leverages gallium nitrate technology to detect and track both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft and drones, while simultaneously featuring an Automatic Sense & Warn functionality.

Lockheed Martin's SkyKeeper command and control battle manager gives commanders unparalleled situational awareness with real-time early warning of incoming threats and optimized engagement solutions for critical decision making. Together, say the partners, "these elements make the Falcon weapon system the only integrated short and medium-range missile defense system available in the world with the capabilities required to defeat current and emerging air threats."

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