DARE, BEL to jointly build electronic warfare systems for Sukhoi, MiG29

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by EagleOne, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

    May 10, 2010
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    In the country’s largest military aircraft upgrade in over a decade, two state agencies are teaming up to build new elec- tronic warfare equipment and avionics for the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Russian-made Su-30MkI and MiG-29 fighter jets, two top executives said.

    To extend the combat lives of the MiG-29 aircraft–which are at least 25 years old–by another 15 years, the Defence Avionics and Research Establishment (DARE) and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) will strip the electron- ics in 66 of these planes and re- place the parts with new, more powerful ones by the end of 2012.

    In the Su-30MkI (Sukhoi) planes, which India first import- ed in the mid-1990s, both agen- cies would upgrade the avionics and add a radar warner aimed at protecting the plane from the electronic jammers of enemy fighters. Around 100 of the front- line fighters would take part in the exercise in the first phase.
    The timeline is to be decided.

    Globally, air forces go for a mid-life upgrade of a fighter to improve the plane’s prowess and longevity. Such upgrades largely involve new avionics and radar to make the fighters more po- tent. The airframe or structures of these planes are designed to last for several decades and may at best require tweaking.

    “The main reason for the mid- life upgrade is obsolescence in the weapons systems. Electron- ics change (so) fast that you al- ways are playing catch up,“ said Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey, a former IAF official. “It is (also) cost effective than (to) replace the fleet with a new one.“

    India is also negotiating with France to upgrade 51 Mi- rage-2000 fighters in its fleet.

    The last major upgrade by In- dia was for 68 deep-penetration Jaguar fighters by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

    DARE, a specialist agency of the Defence Research and De- velopment Organisation, was formed to develop home-grown capabilities in avionics. BEL is its production partner that manu- factures and instals the devices in aircraft.

    “We involve the industry right in the beginning of the pro- gramme. By this (tie-up with BEL), we have been able to tack- le production issues,“ said U.K.
    Revankar, director of DARE. He didn’t give other details of the partnership.

    DARE’s biggest success was when it built avionics for Su-30MkI, under project “Vetri- vale“ in 1997.

    Previously, DARE and BEL have jointly built and delivered electronic warfare equipment for IAF’s MiG-27 fleet and for the Tejas, a home-grown light com- bat aircraft that is undergoing flight trials. “…with (the) huge cost of foreign technology and not much help available in EW (electronic warfare), indigenous technology development is the obvious and only alternative.
    The challenge lies in developing it in-house,“ Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik said at a conference in Bangalore last week.

    For BEL, home-grown elec- tronic warfare systems and avi- onics have generated good busi- ness. In 2010-11, it expects reve- nue from such systems to be Rs900 crore. “Over the next three or four years, we will have sub- stantial business from these pro- jects,“ said I.V. Sarma, director (research and development) for BEL. “It could be in thousands of crores (of rupees).“

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010

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