Astor taking off from palam

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by vijaytripoli, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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  3. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the news Vijay... we'll have to analyse this one... What all is that plane capable of ??? And, what combat edge will it add to our defence forces ???
     
  4. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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    ASTOR DEVELOPMENTIn December 1999, Raytheon Systems Ltd was awarded a contract for the development of the UK Ministry of Defence airborne stand-off radar (ASTOR). The system, which includes five Bombadier Global Express business jet aircraft fitted with a derivative of the Raytheon ASARS-2 radar, is an airborne battlefield or ground surveillance radar system for operation with the Royal Air Force and the British Army.

    "High-speed data links transfer the data from aircraft to ground stations in near real time."The ASTOR is to be known as Sentinel R1 in RAF service. The first production aircraft was delivered to Raytheon in February 2002 for integration of the ASTOR system.

    The first ground station vehicle was delivered in October 2002. The first ASTOR Sentinel aircraft made its maiden flight in May 2004, the second in July 2005.

    Three Sentinel aircraft took part in formal flight testing in Greeneville, Texas. The first Sentinel R1 aircraft was delivered to the RAF in June 2007, the second in November 2007. The last aircraft is scheduled for delivery in late 2008.

    Entry into service is scheduled for the end of 2008 and initial operating capability (IOC) in October 2009. The main ASTOR operating centre is based at RAF Waddington in the UK.

    Raytheon Systems Limited, UK, is the prime contractor. The team includes: Bombardier Aerospace, responsible for the Global Express Jet; L-3 Communications, the Ground Station; Lucas Aerospace, the electrical systems; Messier Dowty, the landing gear; AgustaWestland, the doors; and Rolls-Royce, the engines.

    Radar

    The radar is an upgrade of the Raytheon ASARS-2 side looking airborne radar used on the U-2. The radar operates at high altitude and in all weathers to provide high-resolution images. The antenna systems are supplied by BAE Systems, Edinburgh. ASARS-2 has been reported to provide images of the battlefield at ranges of 160km, at altitudes up to 47,000ft.

    The ASARS-2 derivative has an active scanned array and includes a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) which provides photographic quality images of the area being surveyed and a moving target indicator (MTI radar) which tracks moving vehicles over wide ranges.

    The SAR operates in spot mode to identify and track specific targets or can be switched to swath mode which provides a large number of strips of pictures which join to form a detailed image of the battlefield.

    CHAU
     
  5. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Thanks dude... so, its something like another AWACS ???
     
  6. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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    ASTOR Operation

    The SAR/MTI radar identifies the location of hostile forces and their quantity, direction and speed. Additional imagery can be provided by optional optical equipment. The image data is transmitted in real time via secure data links to ground-based processing stations.

    "The ASTOR Sentinel made its maiden flight in May 2004."The radar signal processors develop the data into visual images which can be displayed and exploited by the airborne mission crew, transmitted to image exploitation equipment on the ground, or transmitted to other areas via secure data links, satellite communications and ground networks.

    Countermeasures

    The aircraft is equipped with the Defensive Aids Group (DAG) integrated electronic warfare suite from BAE Systems Information & Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS) of Nashua, New Hampshire. DAG is based on the defensive aids subsystem (DASS) developed by BAE for the UK's Replacement Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Nimrod MRA4. DAG includes missile warning system, radar warning receiver, towed radar decoy and chaff and flare dispensers.

    Aircraft

    The aircraft is flown by two flight deck crew and three mission crew. The Bombardier Aerospace-Short Brothers Global Express aircraft is an ultra-long range business jet and will be modified to accommodate the radars and communications systems required by ASTOR.

    The modifications include a canoe-shaped radome under the forward fuselage to house the radar antenna, a radome on the upper fuselage to house the SATCOM antenna, a 'bullet-fairing' extension on the vertical stabiliser and delta fins under the aft fuselage. Aircraft modification, systems integration and flight testing is carried out by Raytheon Systems at Broughton, North Wales.

    The aircraft flies at an altitude of 15,000 m in order to achieve the maximum ground radar surveillance coverage. It has a range of 6500 nm and a mission endurance of over 14 hours.

    Engine

    The engines for the ASTOR aircraft are the same as those deployed on the UK RAF Nimrod MRA4 aircraft. Each Rolls-Royce BR710 two-shaft turbofan engine produces 14,000lbf to 17,000lbf (63kN to 76kN) flat rated take-off thrust.

    The engine configuration consists of a 48in wide-chord-fan with 24 solid titanium blades, ten-stage high compressor, annular axial flow combustion chamber, two-stage high-pressure turbine and two-stage low-pressure turbine with dual lane full authority digital engine control (FADEC).

    "The ASTOR is an upgrade of the Raytheon ASARS-2 side-looking airborne radar used on the U-2."Ground station

    High-speed data links transfer the data from aircraft to ground stations in near real time. The system has directional and broadcast data links which are interoperable with existing U-2Rs, JSTARS and command and control networks.

    The tactical and operational level ground stations are being developed by L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, Raytheon Systems and Marshall Specialist Vehicles.

    The tactical ground stations are installed in 10ft shelters mounted on 6x6 improved medium mobility Steyr Pinzgauer 718K trucks. 20ft transportable shelters are provided for operational level ground stations.

    Ultra Electronics and Cubic Defense Systems are providing the narrowband datalink subsystem (NDLS) which will transmit the radar sensor data between the aircraft and the ground stations. L3 Communications is supplying the wideband data link based on a common data link (CDL).
    Photos: Bombardier BD-700-1A10 Sentinel R1 Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net
    chau
     
  7. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    ASTOR as in Raytheon Sentinel ?? Impossible
    Must be the Israeli Eitam/AWACS shown at AI 2009
    Picture attached at the bottom
     
  8. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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  9. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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    it was not EITAM G-550. I CAN EASILY SEE THE RADAR UNDER IT WITH THE SAME STRUCTURE LIKE IN ASTOR .
    CHAU
     
  10. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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    hey singh ur image showing two planes. which one is in the background ?
    its look like astor to me same which i saw today!
    chau
     
  11. ZOOM

    ZOOM Founding Member

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    It is highly unlikely that, just because Astor was taking off from Palam Airforce base, there must be some secret deal going on between India and Isreal. Since, ongoing inking of secret deal of Barak is already going through bad wheater, as IAI is already under the scanner of CBI and now from opposition as well. Under such cirumstanes it UPA government simply can't afford to get named itself under another controversy.

    Most likely, it may have on a routine visit or some detailing about its operational prowess to IAF about datalinking.
     
  12. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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    brother that i know . but presence of an advanced aew platform on Indian soil can,t be neglected . i am so sur that i saw a aew platform with a belly mounted radar under it just like astor !
    chau
     
  13. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Vt bruv, what you saw was a Gulfstream III SRA, registered VT-ENR for dedicated electromagnetic intelligence duties. The aircraft usually operates from the Palam AFB and is designated to almost exclusive purpose against Pakistan. The aircraft has a large canoe-shaped equipment pod underneath the forward fuselage that bears a RADAR (usually the Sperry Primus 400 Dual Collins 67 TPNDRS) similar to the Airborne Standoff Radar or Sentinel 1 in RAF service. The Gulfstream III, as used by the USAF and USN, is generally employed toward Presidential and VIP missions: that is, it is an all-weather, long-range, high speed executive jet, but the radar provides an Airborne Early Warning system, as also a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) capabilities used in battlefield and strategic bombing operations, in addition to an EO/IR surveillance pod. I attach images of both the Gulfstream III (1) and the Astor (2) below:

    Interestingly, the Israeli Airforce in 2001 signed a deal to procure 4 Gulfstream 550's ('Nachson' in IAF parlance)- a variant of the Gulfstream V aircraft- to replace their aging fleet of Boeing 707's, of which a number were equipped to handle C&C systems as well as basic signal intelligence and electronic counter measures. As part of this contract, ELTA, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Israeli Aerospace Industries, was requisitioned to equip the aircraft with a 'compact' version of the Phalcon AEW&C (designated EL/W-2085) on 3 of the 4 aircraft. The first of these 3 aircraft will also be equipped with the Etla El1-3001 system and converted into a specialized SIGINT aircraft. The compact variant of the Phalcon is in turn derived from the full-fledged Phalcon and the Green Pine Fire Control RADAR (developed for use on the 'Arrow' (anti)tactical BM).
     
  14. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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    thanks for helping me out! do Gulfstream III SRA have same capabalities just like astor?
    but please also share the knowledge that when did India sign a deal for Gulfstream III SRA?
    chau
     
  15. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    My pleasure. Note however that the Gulfstream III SRA belongs to the Aviation Research Centre of the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) of the Cabinet Secretariat, and not directly to the IAF.

    A world of difference between the two: The Gulfstream III, as it was originally developed, is primarily an executive corporate transport aircraft (in an interesting piece of trivia, it was the first of its kind to fly over both poles). It's SRA version, the sole demo of which was sold to India in before the switch to the Gulfstream IV airframe was effected in 1987. The SRA was equipped with a maritime search radar (Texas Instrument's AN/APS-134), underfuselage Synthetic Aperture radar (Loral An/UPD-8) and reconnaissance equipment (CAI KS-146 Long Range Oblique Imaging Camera). However, my sources tell me that there exists (or existed simultaneously at one point) atleast one other Gulfstream III SRA (designated K-2961) with the ARC. Evidently, one of these (most likely the VT-ENR) was lost in a hanger collapse at Charbatia in 2006 and was damaged beyond repair. The K-2961 could well be a newer replacement for the VT-ENR (assuming it was the one lost) given that there are a few external structural differences between the two (I attach images of both for your convenience).

    As for its technical comparisons with the ASTOR, and their contrasted capabilities: The Gulfstream is powered by two Rolls-Royce Spey Mark 511-8 turbofan engines generating 11,400lbs of thrust, whereas the Sentinel operates on two Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR710 turbo fan engines capable of generating 14,750 lbs of thrust. The GlfIII has a max speed of 936 kmph and a max range of 6880 kms as opposed to the Sentinel with a max speed of mach 0.89 (which at 40,000 ft above sea level- it's typical service height- translates into 1062.33 kmph) and a range of 11,390 kms. Internal fuel capacities of the Sentinel R.1 are 19,664 kgs. (and capable of mid-air refueling) as opposed to the GlfIII with a capacity of 13,227 kgs. The GlfIII has a significantly better altitude climb rate however of 1326 m/min compared to the Astor which has a climb rate of 436 m/min. Service ceilings compare at 45,000 ft for the Gulfstream and 51,000 ft. for the Astor; while thrust-to-weight ratios are 0.309 for the GlfIII and 0.301 for the Astor.

    External dimensions of the two compare as follows:

    Gulfstream III SRA

    Length: 79.92 ft (24.36m)
    Width: 68.83 ft (20.98m)
    Height: 24.51 ft (7.47m)
    Wingspan: 77 ft 10 in (23.72 m)

    Astor

    Length: 99 ft 5 in (30.31m)
    Width:
    Height: 27 ft (8.23m)
    Wingspan: 93 ft 6 in (28.51m)


    And other specifications for the for the structure of the Gulfstream III SRA:

    Accommodation: [2 (Crew) + 21] Capacity
    Hardpoints: 0
    Wing Area: 950 ft² (88.3 m²)
    Empty Weight: 36,905lbs (16,740kg)
    Max take-off weight (MTOW): 65,499lbs (29,710kg)
    Useful load: 31,000 lb (14,061 kg)


    ...and the Bombadier Global Express, which is the airframe the Astor is based upon:

    Accomadation: [Crew: Two (minimum) - four (typical)] + [8-19 passengers] capacity
    Hardpoints: Unknown (http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/2004/2004-09 - 0828.html)
    Wing area: 1,022 ft² (94.9 m²)
    Empty weight: 49,750 lb (22,600 kg)
    Max takeoff weight: 98,000 lb (44,500 kg)
    Useful load: 1,775 lb (w/full fuel) (805 kg)


    As well as cabin specifications for the Astor that I was able to lay my hands on:

    Cabin length: 48 ft 4 in (14.73 m)
    Cabin max width (centerline): 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m)
    Cabin max width (floorline): 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
    Cabin height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
    Cabin floor area: 335 ft² (31.1 m²)


    NB: Read more on the history of the Gulfstream here: http://www.gulfstream.com/history/
     
  16. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    It is not the Astor/Sentintel but a competitor (Israeli SEMA) they are both designed for similar purposes though...
     
  17. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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    The New Force Multiplier

    A-50E/PHALCONs, all set to join the IAF
    By Prasun K. Sengupta

    The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) newest force-multipliers that are now in the process of delivery are the three A-50E/PHALCON airborne early warning and control (AEW & C) aircraft, which will be based at the IAF’s Agra Air Force Station as part of a newly raised No50 Squadron, alongside No78 Squadron, which presently operates six IL-78MKI aerial refuelling tankers. The induction of the A-50E/PHALCON, due to take place next month, will enable the IAF to monitor aircraft movements nearly 200km inside hostile airspace while flying nearly 100km inside friendly airspace. However, the yet-to-be-announced arrival schedules of the A-50E/PHALCONs, does not automatically mean that the system is in the process of being inducted/commissioned into service in the near future. There are several more hurdles to be overcome before the A-50E/PHALCON fleet can achieve full operational capability (FOC). Firstly, systems validation of critical early warning components of the A-50E/PHALCON — the ELTA Electronics-built EL/M-2075 L-band solid-state AESA radar and the Elbit Systems-supplied ELINT suite and SATCOM communications suite, will be required to be done to ensure that there are no unresolved and untoward EMI-related issues. Secondly, the two-way data-linking protocols with the IAF’s ground-based sector operations centres will have to be validated and certified. Thirdly, the A-50E/PHALCON will be required to conduct several route-proving flights (between the main hub/home base in Agra and up to six alternate basing ‘spokes’) to ensure the AEW & C platform’s compatibility with the IAF’s existing air traffic management protocols. This is highly important since there is hardly any free airspace available for either the PHALCON or IL-78MKI aerial refuelling tankers to loiter within India. And this is because India’s civilian and military ATC systems do not as yet function seamlessly as a single integrated operational entity. Therefore, specific air corridors and airspace volumes have, from now on, to be created and enforced. Fourthly, the A-50E/PHALCONs will be utilised by the IAF for perfecting the concepts of airborne battlespace management involving far larger airborne aircraft packages — up to 36 at a time and involving air dominance combat aircraft like the Su-30MKIs as well as dedicated air interdiction assets like the Jaguar IS and MiG-27M. All this has never been done before and will thus pose a formidable but welcome challenge for the IAF. Fifthly, and most importantly, human resources training and operational conversion for up to three sets of mission management aircrew for each A-50E/PHALCON will now commence in earnest, with each aircraft logging up to 12 hours a day for up to 25 days per month, a highly intensive training regime in order to achieve FOC within the shortest possible time-frame, which will take 24 months to achieve — both for the PHALCON and the accompanying composite combat aircraft formations for both offensive and defensive flight sorties.
    http://www.forceindia.net/featurereport1.aspx

    chau
     
  18. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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    Indigenous AEW & Cs To Be Procured
    The AEW &
    CS will have a fully integrated defensive aids suite
    By Prasun K. Sengupta


    One of the star attractions at the Defence Research & Development’s (DRDO) pavilion in Bengaluru during the Aero India 2009 expo last February were various components of the indigenous airborne early warning and control system (AEW & CS) that is now under development. It may be recalled that in a path-breaking development, Brazil and India on July 3 last year had inked a USD 210 million agreement to jointly develop an AEW & CS for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The agreement was signed by S. Christopher, Director, of the DRDO’s Bangalore-based Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), and Luis Carlos Aguiar, Embraer’s Executive Vice President (Defence and Government Markets), in the presence of Marco Brandao, Brazilian ambassador to India, and M. Natarajan, scientific advisor to India’s defence minister and secretary, DRDO. India, incidentally, had earlier acquired five EMB-135BT ‘Legacy’ executive jets, under a Rs 7.27 billion contract with Embraer, to ferry VVIPs around the country and abroad. Under the latest deal, Embraer will modify its EMB-145 regional jet aircraft to carry two types (S-band and L-band) of Active Array Antenna Units (AAAU), developed by the CABS, on the aircraft’s fuselage. Three modified EMB-145s will be developed under this agreement, with the first being delivered by 2011. The various sub-systems of the AEW & CS’ mission management system will be integrated into the ‘modified green’ EMB-145 by CABS and the full-fledged AEW & CS will be flight-tested in India by CABS and the Indian Air Force (IAF) from 2012. Financial sanction worth Rs 18 billion for this R&D venture was given in October 2004, following which CABS and Embraer jointly undertook the project definition phase. When equipped with a roof-mounted in-flight refueling probe, the AEW & CS will have an eight-hour endurance that will include three hours for transit and six hours of on-station operational deployment. Thus, two such platforms will be able to conduct operational sorties over a given sector in four duty-cycles of six hours each, which will give each platform an individual time-on-ground of 3.5 hours between each deployment, while keeping one additional AEW & CS platform on standby at all times. Assuming 75 per cent serviceability, a minimum of four such platforms will be required for round-the-clock operations in one sector/theatre.
     
  19. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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