Photo Credit: Courtesy of Israel Aerospace Industries
Artist's rendering of the land-based Scorpius G electronic warfare system. 2

Israel Aerospace Industries on Thursday unveiled Scorpius, a new defense system that uses electromagnetic beams to down targets. IAI Marketing VP Gideon Fustick told Forbes, “We call it ‘soft protection.’ It’s an offensive weapon that doesn’t send out missiles. It’s not a hard-kill system, and yet it is very effective in engaging and disabling enemy systems.”

Scorpius, which shoots down enemy planes and missiles without firing a single missile, made its operational debut during the Israeli Air Force’s international Blue Flag training exercise last month. During the exercise, Scorpius simulated advanced anti-aircraft systems and increased the effectiveness of generation 5 aircraft such as the F-35 stealth fighter.

Scorpius, the IAI’s new defense system that uses electromagnetic beams to down targets. / Courtesy of Israel Aerospace Industries

ELTA Systems, which are a part of the IAI, developed Scorpius’ multi-beam technology which scans the designated airspace and, utilizing the information it gathers, launches a narrow attack beam at the target.

“More and more of the activity in warfare is going into the electromagnetic domain. Planes, missiles, UAVs, are all using electromagnetic magnetic means, to sense the environment, to navigate, and to communicate,” Fustick told Forbes. “The enemy is trying to use the electromagnetic domain for all these activities. We are also trying to use them. And we’re each trying to deny the other side from the use of the electromagnetic domain.”

Scorpius on a fighter jet. / Courtesy of Israel Aerospace Industries

According to Fustick, Scorpius uses active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology to scan the entire sky and sends narrowly targeted beams “at any wavelength, any frequency, any direction against specific targets without interfering with anybody else,” disrupting enemy electronic sensors, data communications, navigation, and radar.

The IAI calls Scorpius a historic leap in electronic warfare, surpassing the US attempts to achieve such an ability. The Russians have a similar system, but theirs is can only target a particular area, using a powerful electronic cannon to hit enemy aircraft within it.

“We believe this is the revolution. It’s the future of electronic warfare,” Fustick said.


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