IAI EL/W-2085

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The IAI EL/W-2085 is an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) multi-band radar system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elta Electronics Industries of Israel. Its primary objective is to provide intelligence to maintain air superiority and conduct surveillance. The system is currently in-service with Israel and Singapore, and in the future Italy and the United States.

Republic of Singapore Air Force Gulfstream G550 CAEW landing

Design and featuresEdit

Israel Air Force EL/W-2085 on display at Farnborough 2008

The EL/W-2085 was developed from the single-band EL/M-2075 "Phalcon" system.

Instead of using a rotodome, a moving radar found on some AEW&C aircraft, the EL/W-2085 uses an active electronically scanned array (AESA) – an active phased array radar. This radar consists of an array of transmit/receive (T/R) modules that allow a beam to be electronically steered, making a physically rotating rotodome unnecessary. AESA radars operate on a pseudorandom set of frequencies and also have very short scanning rates, which makes them difficult to detect and jam. Up to 1000 targets can be tracked simultaneously to a range of 243 nmi (450 km), while at the same time, multitudes of air-to-air interceptions or air-to-surface (includes maritime) attacks can be guided simultaneously. The radar equipment of the Israeli CAEW consists of each one L-band radar left and right sides on the fuselage and each one S-band antenna in nose and tail. The phased array allows positions of aircraft on operator screens to be updated every 2–4 seconds, rather than every 12 seconds as is the case on the rotodome AWACS.[1]

Operational historyEdit

An Israeli tanker and Gulfstream in refuelling formation

Circa 2005 the Israeli Air Force purchased five Gulfstream G550-based Eitam aircraft to serve as the new IDF platform for its newer generation of AEW systems.[2] The new aircraft use the EL/W-2085 dual-band sensor suite, and are more capable and less expensive to operate than the older Boeing 707-based EL/M-2075.[3] Extensive modifications were made to the Gulfstream's fuselage by IAI, such as the addition of protruding composite radomes, to house the radar arrays in conformal body modifications. Based at Nevatim Airbase.[4]

In 2007, four similar G550-EL/W-2085 aircraft were purchased by the Republic of Singapore Air Force to replace its upgraded E-2C Hawkeyes. The new G550 aircraft entered service on 13 April 2012.[5]


  •   Israel - A number of Gulfstream G550 platforms fitted with the EL/W-2085 radar, called "Nahshon-Eitam" or "Eitam".
  •   Italy - After Israel chose the Italian M-346 advanced trainer aircraft for the Israeli Air Force in 2012, Italy ordered two G550-based AEW&C systems as an industrial offset. The cost of the two systems is around US$850 million.[6] The first aircraft was delivered on 19 December 2016.[7]
  •   Singapore - Four Gulfstream G550 platforms in service. Each costing approximately US$375 million.[8][9]
  •   United States - In 2015, the US Navy announced it will purchase a Gulfstream G550 airframe that's modified for the conformal airborne early warning system (CAEW), with Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta Systems as prime contractor and systems integrator for the G550 CAEW aircraft.[10] Whether the jet will actually carry the same internal systems is not clear.[11]
  •   Australia - In late 2015, RAAF announced that it would purchase the Gulfstream G550 in a SIGINT/ELINT configuration to upgrade the RAAF's capabilities and complement the E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft. Deliveries are expected to commence by late 2017.[12]

Comparable systemsEdit

  • Boeing 737 AEW&C – Airborne early warning and control aircraft
  • EL/W-2090 – Airborne early warning and control radar system
  • Erieye – Airborne Early Warning and Control System used on a variety of aircraft platforms


  1. ^ "Electronic Weapons: Singapore Gets New AWACS". www.strategypage.com. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Israel to receive the first of three Eitam AEW aircraft". RF Design. February 13, 2008. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  3. ^ Egozi, Arie (23 March 2010). "Israeli air force showcases G550 surveillance fleet". Flight International. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
  4. ^ Egozi, Arie (23 March 2010). "Israeli air force showcases G550 surveillance fleet". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  5. ^ "RSAF's Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning Aircraft is Fully Operational" (Press release). MINDEF. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  6. ^ http://defense-update.com/20120719_israel-italy-arms-deal[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Italy receives first of two G550 CAEW aircraft from Israel IHS Jane's 360
  8. ^ https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htecm/20070426.aspx Singapore to get new AWACS
  9. ^ "File Not Found". www.mindef.gov.sg. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  10. ^ Parsons, Dan (6 October 2014). "US Navy to order Gulfstream jet for test-range surveillance". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  11. ^ https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/usns-new-range-aircraft-g550-caew-027705/
  12. ^ "The Gulfstream G550 and the ADF—plugging the ISR gap". The Strategist. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2019.

External linksEdit

  • [1] The Aviationist article on CAEW
  • [2] EL/W-2085 official brochure
  • [3] official product page