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German Air Force Exploring Use of Passive Radar Tech in Air Defense

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Germany is testing a passive radar technology for possible deployment in air defense systems, according to Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz, commander of the German Air Force.

The experiment aims to determine if the capability can provide an early warning for upcoming threats, Gerhartz told Defense News.

According to the publication, the service is testing Hensoldt’s Twinvis system. The German-based company previously stated in June 2022 that the Air Force wanted to acquire the systems following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Fast forward to 2023, the organization confirmed securing a contract for Twinvis.

Passive radar’s stealth functions lie in its ability to measure aerial objects’ traces from existing radio waves. However, defenders using the technology need to activate their radar, a maneuver that briefly exposes them to detection, the report said.

Hensoldt explained that passive radar is a decades-old technology that recently gained modern use due to advancements in sensing and signal processing.

In exploring Twinvis, the German Air Force wants to find out if the system could contribute to achieving air superiority on a battlefield.

Particularly, the service is investigating how passive radar could reshape the competition in the Ukrainian war, where both sides have failed to deploy combat planes uncontested due to highly effective ground-based defense systems, Defense News said.

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