Swiss air defense

Swiss air defense

Swiss Air Defence

For the last 35 years airspace control by the Swiss military depended on their "FLORIDA" ("FL"ugsicherungs "O"perations "R"adar "ID"entifikation "A"larm) air defence system. However, in 2004 this system has been switched off in favour of FLORAKO ("FL"ugsicherungs "O"perations "RA"dar "KO"mmandosystem, or Air security operations radar command system), a new combined air defence-air operations command and control system developed for the Swiss air force on an American/French basis by the firm Thales Raytheon Systems.

The practical design of the FLORAKO system had to meet and adapt to all Swiss operational circumstances such as high and rough terrain and all extreme weather conditions, as well as practical integration and segregation of Swiss civil and military flight security. It consists of a chain of radar stations, command and control, computer, weather and communication facilities throughout Switzerland.

The architecture of all system components is open and offers flexibility and is based on the integration of existing commercial and non commercial hard and software. However, the system’s core activities, guarding the airspace and command and control are based on specially designed military hard and software components. Therefore the operational lifetime of the FLORAKO system is guaranteed for the next 25 years at least.

The first FLORAKO units were operational in 2003 and the operational lifetime of the FLORAKO system is guaranteed for at least 25 years.

ystem elements

FLORAKO consists of the following system elements.

*The communication system KOMSYS. The integrating element of all geographically devided parts of the FLORAKO system. KOMSYS unites speech and datacommunications and systemcommands in the same data network.

*The radarstation FLORES. Consisting of 2 Standard Radars (hi-power search radar), 2 Advanced Radars (search mode, hi-update ratio and special functions) and 4 civil authority monopuls secondary radars. These 4 radar stations are the main data sources and are completed by the existent military and civil radar data.

*The radar layersystem RALUS. It translates the data sent by all sensors automatically into flight paths. RALUS produces a complete civil-military airpicture for both civil and military authorities. Its core element, Multiradar-Tracker, produces of radar sensordata of all 15 radar stations and 28 radar sources a flightpath of any detected target. In the near future RALUS obtained data will be combined with the Advanced Radar obtained data.

*The air force warning message system LUNAS-EZ. AirOps Ccenters are the combining factors between the FLORAKO-system with all data (actual airpicture, planned airpicture, environmental data) and the military users. All workpositions are identical configured and built according to the latest ergonomics, state of the art visual colour hi-res technology, menu guidance and known user environment. The Dübendorf peacetime AirOps Center, as well as the critical AirOps units hidden in the mountains, are equally equipped to assure an operational redundancy at all times. All these LUNAS –EZ actions are continuously possible.
**production of the actual airpicture
**permanent guarding of the Swiss airspace
**early warning
**command and control
**air policing
**coordination of civil and military air traffic

*Military-Civil Airspace Management System MICAMS. This, secundary, system offers a computing backup for flexible airspace use for both civil and military flight security.

Operational elements

The FLORAKO air defence - air operations command and control system consists of these operational components.

*FULW 34, Führungs Unterstützungsbrigade 34 der Schweizer LuftWaffe ("34th air command brigade")
**Headquarters, command & control centre and training facilities based on the Dübendorf barracks complex

* Luftwaffe Radar Abteilung 1 ("airforce radarcommand 1"). Responsible for fixbased radarstation equipped with hi-power searchradar with appx. 400 km coverage, on 4 summit in the alps, like the Pilatus mountain 10 km SW of the city of Luzern. The fixed radar is based on the [ Master M radar]
**LW radarcompanies 13, 14 15, 16 and 17

*Mobile Luftwaffe Radar Abteilung 2 ("mobile radarcommand 2"). Responsible for all mobile TAktische FLIeger Radars (TAFLIR tactical flight radars) with about 200 km coverage. Peacetime deployment locations are at Dübendorf and Emmen. There are several prepared sites where TAFLIR units can be deployed in time of crisis. In case of war the 2 [ mobile TAFLIR units] can be located anywhere.
**LW radarcompanies 21, 22, 23 and 24

*Luftwaffe Elektronische Kriegführung Abteilung 3 ("electronic warfare command 3"). Responsible for all Signal Intelligence (SIGINT), Communications Intelligence (COMINT) and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) activities.
**EKF companies 31, 32 and 33

*Luftwaffe Richtstrahl Abteilung 4 ("direct relay signal command 4"). Responsible for UHF, VHF relay data and phonetraffic to and from all units of the Swiss armed forces.
**LW Ristl companies 41, 42, 43 and 44

*Luftwaffe Übermittlungs Abteilung 5 ("communications command 5"). Responsible for all UHF, VHF and HF radiotaffic to and from all air defence units of the Swiss armed forces. Responsible for the operational functionality of the FIS Luftwaffe intranet facility.
**LW Uem companies 51, 52, 53, 54 and 55

*Luftwaffe Nachrichten Abteilung 6 ("information command 6"). Responsible for tactical data gathering (air/ground picture, ABC measurement, all other data) for the military and political decisionmakers.
**LW Na companies 61,62, 63, 64 and 65

*Wetter Abteilung 7 ("Meteo command 7"). Responsible for correct weather prognosis.
**Wetter companies 72 and 73

ee also

*Austrian air defense
*French air defense radar systems


* [ Radar Basics]
* [ Thales Raytheon Florako information]
* [ Website Pilatus]
* [ Radarunit on the Pilatus summit]
* [ Detail radarunit]

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