India's AESA radar development

It is no longer a secret when it comes to India developing aAESA(Active Electronic Scanning Array) radar, though many countries areoffering their expertise in this field to India to develop the radar onits own, so, that they can win the MMRCA bid, India has always rejectedthe idea as it is developing it's own since the 90's which was keptlike a secret until the patent was made for theT/R(ATransmitter/Receiver) module for the AESA radar which shows thatsteady progress has been made by India in this field so that they canfill the void by placing it on its home grown LCA project.
Infact work on the necessary transmit/receivemodules was done back in 1998 itself as revealed by Dr. Harinarayana(the father of the LCA programme) in a interview. India is working onthis AESA technology to develop an AESA radar for the LCA (whichpresently will only have the MMR which is a PD radar), India is alsodeveloping a new AESA radar ( link ) with a range of 300 km for itsindigenous AWACS aircraft, that will be mounted on the Embraer ERJ-145.It is to be deployed by 2011 here is a good picture of it notice thatthe radar is not like the rotating type deployed by other countries andthe flying aircraft is from embraer from brazil.
The new AEWACS' mission avionics and sensors will be integrated via adual MIL-STD 1533 B digital databus, with software programmes providingtactical aids, cues and alerts. The mission system will provideautomatic radar control, automatic detection and track initiation,reduced false alarms, improved track continuity, sensor and databusfusion and modern communications management. It will also provideadaptive tracking performance, fast track update rate, reliable localsituation display and computer-assisted decisions.

The LRDE-developed roof-mounted radar will be an active phased-array,pulse compression, Doppler radar operating in the S-band. The fixedantenna, with extremely low sidelobe levels, will comprise 200transmitter/receiver modules mounted on top of the aircraft's fuselage.The best range performance will be achieved in a 150 degree sectorsideways, with the performance reduced in forward and aft directionsoutside of this sector. The instrumented range will be 243nm and thetypical detection range for a combat aircraft-sized contact will be190nm. The radar's electronically scanning beam will be controlled byan automatic and intelligent energy management system which willoptimise the beam position and compared to conventional, rotodomesolutions, will provide quicker detection verification, increasedtracking range, and improved tracking performance even for highlymanoeuvring targets.

Work on the ASP's Technology Demonstrator (TD) began in earnest and thefirst flight of the TD, an Avro HS-748 twin-turboprop aircraft equippedwith a rotodome fabricated by BAE Systems, took place in November 1991at the ASTE's Bangalore facility. By 1994, the LRDE and state-ownedBharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) had completed development and fabricationof the ASP's radar and related electronics and a fresh round oftechnology evaluation and flight testing got underway, following afunding of Rs 250 million from the DRDO. By mid-1996, work on mostaspects of the AWACS project had been completed, and the LRDE radardemonstrated an effective range of 300km when called upon to detect alow-flying target cruising at Mach 1.5 speed. However, the sole ASP TDperished in a fatal crash at Arrakonam near Chennai in January 1999,killing eight personnel, and the ASWAC project was consequently put onhold.

Within two months of signing the $1.1-billion Phalcon Airborne EarlyWarning and Control Systems contract, India is looking to revive itsown $400-million AWACS project.

To be called the Mini-AWACS system, the project harkens back to theindigenous airborne surveillance platform (ASP) effort shelved byIndia's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in 1999after a modified Avro HS-748 crashed, killing four scientists and fourair force officers on board. The accident was blamed on a rotodome thatblew off, indicating a failure in the modification process.

However, this time DRDO is expected to mount the Mini-AWACS'phased-array radar on an in-production executive jet, according to K.U.Limaye, director of the Electronics and Radar Development Establishmentand head of CABS. An experimental radar is already in testing, he addedin a interview.

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