Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has successfully test flown an AESA radar equipped SEPECAT Jaguar fighter-bomber aircraft operated by Indian Air Force.
Part of the indigenous DARIN III avionics upgrade, the aircraft has been integrated with a ELM-2052 Active Scanned Electronic Array radar developed by Israeli Elta.
The aircraft is the first AESA radar equipped fighter in Indian Air Force fleet.
The AESA radars enables the fighter to track multiple targets; communicate in multiple frequencies through high bandwidth apart from offering high accuracy and resolution, an official said.
Unlike a mechanically scanned radar, the AESA can be electronically steered to point in different directions without moving the antenna mechanically.
AESA radars can spread their signal emissions across a wider range of frequencies, which makes them more difficult to detect over background noise, allowing ships and aircraft to radiate powerful radar signals while still remaining stealthy.
The Elta ELM-2052 fire control radar have air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea operation modes, and weapon deployment.
In the air-to-air mode, the radar delivers very long-range multi target detection and enables several simultaneous weapon deliveries in combat engagements.
In air-to-ground missions, the radar provides very high resolution SAR mapping, surface moving target detection and tracking over RBM and SAR maps in addition to A/G ranging.
In air-to-sea missions the radar provides long-range target detection and tracking, including target classification capabilities (RS, ISAR).
Currently operated only by Indian Air Force, the Anglo-French Jaguar was designed in the 1960s and first introduced to service in 1973. Hence integrating the latest Active Scanned Electronic Array radar with a third generation fighter is a remarkable achievement.
The Display Attack Navigation III upgrade is part of IAF's plan to extend service life of the 120 strong fleet of Jaguars, which serves in the deep penetration strike role, for another 15-20 years.
IAF plans to upgrade 61 Jaguars to the Darin 3 standard and re-engine all the aircraft with a more powerful Honeywell F-125N engine.
DARIN 3 incorporates new state of the art avionics architecture including the Open System Architecture Mission Computer (OSAMC), Engine & Flight Instrument System (EFIS), Fire Control Radar, State of the Art Inertial Navigation System with GPS and Geodetic height correction, Solid State Digital Video Recording System (SSDVRS), Solid State Flight Data Recorder (SSFDR), Smart Multi-Function Display (SMD), Radio Altimeter with 20000 ft range, Autopilot with Alt Select & HNAV and Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF).