Lockheed Martin-led team unveils Falcon air defence weapon system

20 February 2019 (Last Updated February 20th, 2019 16:29)

A Lockheed Martin-led team has unveiled an air defence weapon system known as Falcon as the short and medium-range air defence solution to counter current and emerging threats.

Lockheed Martin-led team unveils Falcon air defence weapon system
Lockheed Martin projects Falcon as the short and medium-range air defence solution for current and emerging threats. Credit: Lockheed Martin Corporation.

A Lockheed Martin-led team has unveiled an air defence weapon system known as Falcon as the short and medium-range air defence solution to counter current and emerging threats.

Other partners in the Falcon project include German arms manufacturer Diehl Defence and Sweden’s Saab.

Falcon brings together Diehl’s 40km range Infra-red imaging system tail/thrust vector-controlled (IRIS-T) SLM interceptor and vertical launcher, Saab’s 360° AESA Giraffe 4A radar, integrating them through Lockheed Martin’s SkyKeeper command and control battle manager.

The open architecture of the weapon system supports easy integration into any air operations centre.

Falcon can be deployed to tackle threats such as unmanned aerial systems carrying lethal payloads, cruise missiles that can attack from any direction, and fixed and rotary winged aircraft that possess the capability to deliver ordnance at extended ranges.

“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.”

Lockheed Martin Integrated Air and Missile Defense vice-president and 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 Diehl IRIS-T SLM interceptor, which is fired from a 360° vertical launcher, is designed to provide the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously.

Designed to offer high discrimination capabilities, Saab’s Giraffe 4A AESA radar uses gallium nitrate technology to detect and track both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft and drones. The radar also possesses an automatic sense and warn functionality.

Meanwhile, SkyKeeper provides real-time early warning of incoming threats and optimised engagement solutions, assisting commanders in critical decision-making.

The partners showcased Falcon at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) show in Abu Dhabi, UAE.