The Philippines has ordered three ELM-2288 air surveillance radars from Israel Aerospace Industries‘ (IAI) subsidiary Elta Systems for $56m.

The first delivery is scheduled to take place by the end of 2017, second in May and third in November 2018.

The ELM-2288 is an air defence and air traffic control radar (AD-STAR), which can operate independently and as part of a larger air defence system.

"The surveillance radars will help us monitor our territorial airspace and air defence identification zone."

The mobile, long-range radar has ballistic missile detection and advanced electronic counter measure capabilities. Its integrated antenna is foldable making it convenient to transport it on standard roads, under bridges and inside a C-130 transport aircraft.

The long-range s-band family radar also supports early warning and traffic control activities.

Featuring automatic tracking based on preprogrammed targets parameters, and digital beam, the ELM-2288 provides high accuracy 3D data on tracked targets.

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The radar comes in two configurations, the medium range ELM-2288-MR and the extended range ELM-2288-ER.

Designed for rapid deployment, MR consists of a single container that holds the entire equipment, including the foldable antenna on the shelter. The antenna consists of 32 row elements.

ELM-2288-ER is designed for deployment to fixed sites and the antenna consists of 60 row elements.

The PAF has acquired the radars as part of a recapitalisation plan, which would also include the procurement of fighter jets, patrol aircraft and heavy-lift helicopters.

The Philippines finalised the air defence radar system deal with Israel in 2014, to strengthen its surveillance capabilities in the South China Sea, where China is active with its infrastructure development much to the displeasure of its neighbours including the Philippines and Vietnam.

Philippines Air Force spokesman Col Enrico Canaya was quoted by the Shephard as saying: "The surveillance radars will help us monitor our territorial airspace and air defence identification zone.

"They are expected to be sited in Ilocos Norte (the northern tip of the Philippines), Lubang Island (Mindoro) and Palawan, which all face westward."