April 13, 2012: Israel has introduced a new anti-missile warning system for ships. NAVGUARD is a lightweight (to fit on smaller warships) AESA radar system tweaked to quickly detect and identify incoming missiles. The ship can then quickly use its anti-missile defenses.
AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radars consist of thousands of tiny radars that can be independently aimed in different directions. AESA has only been around for about three decades, at least as a fielded device. The U.S. Aegis naval radar was one of the first big successes. AESA radar made the JSTARS aircraft possible, enabling it to locate vehicles moving on the ground. A new AESA radar for JSTARS enables them to spot smaller, man sized objects. AESA type radars are also popular for their ability deal with lots of targets simultaneously. JSTARS radar has now been tweaked so it can spot ships and boats at sea. AESA radars are becoming more common on warships.