Does anyone know of a good example of a portable ILS ground station? I mean, it can be used for temporary airfields.

  • $\begingroup$ I don’t think there is such a thing. That’s why the military developed TACAN which can be used for temporary sites or small sites like aircraft carriers. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Jun 1, 2020 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ Related: aviation.stackexchange.com/a/57267/35166 $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Jun 2, 2020 at 0:37
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Gerry please don’t post answers in the comments, as there’s no quality control (I.e. your comment can not be downvoted). $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Jun 2, 2020 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ How portable is portable? Is being able to ship it around the world portable enough? How about an aircraft carrier? $\endgroup$
    – slebetman
    Jun 3, 2020 at 5:30

1 Answer 1


NASA did some research on it in 1986 and published this paper. Thales was contracted to build one that the US Army has ordered and it made it to prototype phase. Eventually it was tested for a while and appears to have made it to production and the military ordered more.

It goes under the name Deployable – Instrument Landing Systems (D-ILS). here is a short two page brochure on the unit which has some good pictures of the whole thing.

It looks like the units cost around $4.68 million each.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It makes sense the military would have a field deployable ILS system. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Jun 2, 2020 at 7:42
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    $\begingroup$ Note that "deployable" means "can fit in a set of standard shipping containers and only takes five days to set up", not "can drop it at the end of the runway and start landing planes". $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Jun 3, 2020 at 22:45

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