AEW & C P600 offers control and surveillance capabilities in the sky, land, and sea
The new P600 AEW & C aircraft is one of the highlights of Embraer during the C2ISR conference, an event dedicated to specialists in intelligence and defense.
The model derived from the Praetor 600 business jet has received some updates, which is reflected in the acronym AEW & C (Airborne Early Warning and Control), when previously it was presented only as AEW. The additional Control feature shows the progress of the program, which has been kept in complete confidentiality by Embraer.
The model was announced at the Paris Air Show 2019, as P600 AEW, an early warning and intelligence aircraft based on the Praetor 600 platform. At the time it was believed that the initiative was a way to create a new product after the then agreement with Boeing being consolidated. With the withdrawal of the joint venture by the North American manufacturer, Embraer started to work on the P600 in a very discreet way.
Until the C2ISR forum, promoted by Defense IQ and restricted only to professionals in the sector, Embraer had not presented any additional news about the P600 program. However, current imagery shows the plane already within the AEW & C category.
Although it uses the Praetor 600 platform, a super-medium business aircraft, the model benefits from advances in embedded electronics, allowing the installation of a complete onboard control station, with three positions, of a multi-purpose radar. The antenna will be mounted in an aerodynamic cocoon over the fuselage and should not require major engineering changes to the design.
The program is being conducted in partnership with Israeli Elta Systems, which will provide the entire electronic suite, including the ELM-2096 early warning radar, in addition to the information collection, surveillance, and intelligence sensors. Embraer will be responsible for the production of the aircraft, integration of systems, and provision of ground resources and communication systems.
One of the highlights of the new radar The EL / M-2096 uses transmission and reception modules of gallium nitride semiconductors, which allows higher frequency and use of higher voltages while offering reduced energy consumption, lower working temperature. Another advantage of the technology is to promote the integration between communication, memory, and processing in a single device, which translates into devices with smaller size and mass.
The EL / M-2096 radar has a long-range, in the order of 250 nm (460 km), with transmission and reception modules of 240 °, 120 ° for each side, without loss of power at the edges, which allows its full aerial and maritime surveillance.
The primary sensor has integrated friend or enemy (IFF) capability, but the model can be configured with a wide range of early warning control sensor systems, including ESM / ELINT with command and control, reception of radar threats, comprehensive communication package, including data networks and satellite links. The plane will have a data link suite (data-link), which will integrate satellite communication for operations beyond the line of sight and network-centric warfare (NCW) feature.
Embraer should also include, as an option, a self-protection system (SPS) that detects potential threats, activating any necessary electronic support measures.
There are still few technical details of the future P600 AEW & C, but analysts believe that even using a compact platform, derived from a mid-size business aircraft, the overall capabilities will be close to that of larger aircraft. One reason is the use of cutting-edge technology, which allowed the miniaturization of systems and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, which helps to reduce the workload and the total number of people involved in the process.
The P600 will be able to act in the surveillance and control in air, land, and sea missions. However, the maritime capacity does not foresee the launching of armaments and sound waves.