Passive detection: NATO eyes new air-defence sensors amid Russian threat


Key Points

  • ‘Non-emitting’ passive sensor technology could form a new detection layer for GBAD systems
  • Increased processing power is driving PET technology to detect RF signals, and PCL systems to detect reflected signals

Various sensor manufacturers are increasing efforts to develop passive detection technology for ground-based air-defence (GBAD) applications, with several new systems poised to enter the market after years of research and development.

This ‘non-emitting’ technology promises to add another sensor layer to integrated air-defence networks, which unlike active radar is less vulnerable to suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD) operations and, importantly, could perhaps detect ‘stealth’ aircraft.

Geopolitical tensions and the threat of state-based conflict – particularly in Europe – have encouraged many armed forces to bolster funding in areas such as air defence, especially as Russian air activity increases around NATO’s borders.

Read more on developments in the CBRNe and C-IED fields here.