The ongoing measures to maintain the capabilities of the Spanish Air Force include some measures to promote the Aerospace Surveillance and Control System (SVICA), which is responsible for the detection of threat areas and combat with around 1,700 troops distributed across 23 units to combat them so that it remains effective through 2035 or beyond.
The measures already defined include the modernization of control centers and the acquisition of new radar devices. A key point in the first is a forecast that implies that around 60 million euros will be invested in improving and updating the three existing command and control groups. From 2022 and with a duration of around 36 months, actions worth around 27 million euros will be carried out in the North Command and Control Group, which is occupying the bunker facilities at Zaragoza Air Base.
In addition, 13.3 million will be invested in the alarm and control group at Gando Air Base. Because after 2023 the actions in the group command and control center of the Torrejn Air Base will continue, a process that requires an effort of 2 million to keep it operational until the start of its conversion, which is estimated at an additional 15.1 million .
This work is expected to be completed by 2025 and the three centers will be fully operational. By the same date, the replacement program for the four Alenia RAT31 SL / T three-dimensional radars installed in as many Area Surveillance Stations (EVAs) should be completed and the investment of 120 million euros in the process, including the acquisition, prevent five units of the Indra from launching LRR radar (Long Range Radar), one of which will land in the ACAR’s Transmission Logistics Center (CLOTRA) in Getafe.
Indra will be responsible for other actions as well. One concerns the three-dimensional LTR-25 (Long Range Tactical) radar – an estimated range of 240 nautical miles – which is intended for the Mobile Air Control Group (GRUPOCA) and can be obtained after an investment of 14 million euros. in November 2021. Although this is a project that has caused a lot of delays since the first forecast to receive it, it could be a good system to support those who are in permanent installations so that the involvement some other units would not be excluded. What has already been defined is the modernization of 10 Lanza 3D radars, 9 in different EVAs and 1 in CLOTRA, which includes improvements such as the implementation of the friend-foe interrogator IFF mode 5 / S and those techniques against which its use possible is goals. Stealth or ballistic missile tracking. The forecast, which includes investments of $ 16.6 million, is expected to end the first in May 2022 and the last a year later.
Likewise, the EA will consider adding complementary elements to the SVICA that include additional LTR-25 radars that are less vulnerable than EVAs with fixed and known locations, tactical data link devices based on the Link 16 protocol, or optical sensors IRST (Infrared Search) and Track) with a long range, which would have a monitoring potential in a space of about two hundred kilometers in diameter.
Octavio Dec Cmara
Photo: The radars of the Air Force’s thirteen EVAs are being conveniently modernized to keep them operational until 2035 or beyond. (Octavio Dec Cmara)
At the end of the year, EA will receive the LTR-25, a three-dimensional mobile system similar to Indra’s, operated by the Uruguayan Air Force. (Octavio Dec Cmara)
EA’s investments in the SVICA system are substantial and will be implemented over the next five years. (Octavio Dec Cmara)
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