DRDO Phalcon style AWACS

Discussion in 'Indian Air Force' started by Singh, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Prashant12

    Prashant12 Senior Member Senior Member

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    India to make 6 more AWACS on Airbus platform

    BENGALURU: India will build six more next-generation Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) on the Airbus platform to enhance surveillance and detection with longer range and complete view, a top official said on Sunday.

    "Once the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) clears and the Cabinet Committee for Security approves the proposal, the six AWACS will be made in seven years after the contract is signed with Airbus Defence & Space," Chairman of the state-run Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) S. Christopher told IANS here.

    Estimated to cost Rs 20,000 crore ($3 billion), the AWACS will have 300-km range and 360 degree angle of coverage as against 200-km range and 240 degree angle of Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) the DRDO has built on the Brazilian Embraer-145 modified jet for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

    "As the DAC had cleared two AWACS in 2014-15 and Airbus was the sole bidder, we will negotiate the deal with it soon after the cabinet approval for the additional six systems," Christopher told an aerospace seminar here.

    The two AWACS were approved two years ago for a development cost of Rs 5,113 crore ($820 million.)

    The IAF is already using the Israeli Phalcon AWACS on the Russian IL-76 heavy-lift aircraft -- though it is a fuel guzzler -- to detect aerial threats from jets or missiles even from targets 400 km away.

    "India is the fourth country in the world to have indigenously-built three robust radars and sensors (AEW&C) with Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and other fighters," claimed think-tank Niti Aayog member for Science & Technology and defence scientist V.K. Saraswat.

    Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will hand over the AEW&C-mounted Prying plane to the IAF on Tuesday at the biennial Aero India 2017 expo in this tech hub for induction into the IAF and for Initial Operational Clearance (IOC).

    "The AWACS will also have a robust monitoring system with a better range and greater endurance than existing radars and surveillance systems the world over," said Christopher.

    The DRDO invested Rs 2,400 crore in the design, development and production of AEC&W, with AESA as a primary radar, Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF), Electronic Support Measures (ESM) and Communications Support Measures (CSM) at its Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS) in this aerospace capital since 2004.

    "The radar-fitted surveillance aircraft also has data links to network with combat jets, ground-based control systems and Satellite-based Communication Network (Satcom)," added Christopher.

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...s-on-airbus-platform/articleshow/57111540.cms
     
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  2. Scrutator

    Scrutator Regular Member

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    Thanks for sharing this.
    One question: The pink circles (at Pak border) seems to have the farthest coverage - but it's not clear which radar is providing this (not mentioned in the legend). Maybe it's supposed to be black in color instead (because the coverage area for 'Green Pie' seems similar).
     
  3. abingdonboy

    abingdonboy Senior Member Senior Member

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    - AWACS (India) based on the A330 will likely be in service by 2024
    - 8 AWACS (India) will be ordered intially
    - Total cost for 6 A330-based AWACS and development/validation costs is $3BN (so we can assume the cost of the AWACS itself is around $350m-$400 which is VERY reasonable for a system this capable and modern, the latest EL/M-2090 PHALCONs are costing the IAF $500m each)
     
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  4. Prashant12

    Prashant12 Senior Member Senior Member

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    2 AWACS (India) already on order, 6 more will be ordered later.
     
  5. abingdonboy

    abingdonboy Senior Member Senior Member

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    8 is the intial order the IAF has outlined but beyond 2024 the IAF will easily be ordering another 15.
     
  6. Scrutator

    Scrutator Regular Member

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    What would be awesome is if India's AURA/Ghatak UCAV were mounted with a radome on top housing a long range AESA radar. That would make it an unmanned AWACS!!! (this version needn't carry too many weapons other than probably couple of AAMs for self protection)

    Firstly the unmanned AWACS would be stealthy (due to its size and airframe) and as such not that exposed to some of the AWACS-killing AAMs.

    Secondly the surveillance team would be safe on the ground.

    And lastly - it would be a very inexpensive AWACS!! Currently the platform (plane) to host the radar (and the surveillance team) is the most expensive component. The platform-to-radar cost ratio is probably around 100:1. IAF could possibly acquire these AURA/Ghatak AWACS for around $25-$30 million a piece as opposed to the current price of $300-$400 million a piece for conventional AWACS (even the domestic AWACS has a foreign plane like Embraer/Airbus)!!

    Sure, that the radar will not be a very high powered one; but given it's stealthiness it can be deployed closer to the enemy lines (unlike the bigger AWACS which fly well within friendly skies) and as such a range of about 200 kms would be plenty enough (unlike the AWACS which have 400km range)
     
  7. abingdonboy

    abingdonboy Senior Member Senior Member

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    This would be more of an AEW system, a full AWACS system is more than just a radar mounted on top of a plane, it is also a tactical command centre that controls certain portions of airspace.

    But I do think your idea is likely to be seen in the future, it would be particuarly useful for aircraft carriers.
     
  8. Scrutator

    Scrutator Regular Member

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    The command center for this idea would be ground based (AWACS is just a specific US implementation of the general principles of AWE&CS )

    For warships(including aircraft carriers) I have a different idea. Instead of flying platforms that guzzle fuel and don't give 24/7 coverage, a high powered tethered drone (quad or octo copter) should be employed, perhaps 10,000ft-15,000 ft above the ship! The drone can carry an AESA radar and optical/thermal scanners.The drone will be continuously powered by the ship (and also run a fibre optic cable from the sensors down to the ship) - this will give round the clock coverage!!! These will be dirt cheap and employable on all Frigates, Corvettes, Destroyers and Offshore Patrol boats (both Navy and Coast guard)!!! This is similar to the Aerostats (Nakshatra) that IAF intends to deploy along the borders - but I feel aerostats are too big/clumsy to be carried by ships, where in fact the quad/octo copters would be compact and really cheap and easily maintainable on board!!!

    There are currently 75+ large ships (1000+ tonnes) that might qualify for such tethered drones, and in the next few years that number will be 100+. If each of these ships were to have say 250 kms radius of coverage via the tethered drones then just imagine how much of the skies and seas/oceans will be under coverage!!!

    Smaller drones (with lesser radar coverage) could be put on some 100+ other smaller patrol boats (200+ tons) of Navy and Coast guard too!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
  9. scatterStorm

    scatterStorm Regular Member

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    Or simply just fabricate low cost raspberrie pie like drones that could be deployed in 100 or even 1000s from a canister attached to a fighter jet or C130j to do multiple jobs, like creating so much disturbance in the RF spectrum to create a smoke screen for incoming squadron of Air superiority fighters for air dominance role. These swarm can act like a virtual squadron that can appear to airspace denial systems as a threat and engage with there precious resource while we lurk in our multirole fighter equipped with EW capabilities to filter the radar coverage.

    These swarm of drones can act like a big antenna and can be essentially a network centric intelligent airborne radar asset capable of detecting incoming hostile jets. This concept is now being tested at China lake by USAF.

    There conceptual idea is to launch this swarm of drones from an F35 equipped with a aerodynamic canister launch system, these swarm will then travel with it inherently forming a cloak around it to produce enough noise to enhance it's stealth characteristics, while it performs it's mission or simply ordering them to dance around enemy radar for a while to make it blind.

    Here's a video:



    Our scientist are quite capable in developing dirt cheap drones and then making them intelligent to form a swarm, but that's just wishful thinking I guess.
     
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  10. Scrutator

    Scrutator Regular Member

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    The problems with a swarm of drones are:
    - They cannot carry high powered radars, given their limited size and power.
    - Their flight lifetime is limited by the (small) battery that they carry; and hence they can be deployed on demand for a short duration!

    Creation of smoke screen etc. is the second step - after detecting the incoming threat from a long distance.

    Tethered drones can operated continuously 24/7 and can carry high powered sensors.
     
  11. HariPrasad-1

    HariPrasad-1 Senior Member Senior Member

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    We had already build one but it crashed and no further effort was made to revive the project else we would have been making that in India by now.
     
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  12. Prashant12

    Prashant12 Senior Member Senior Member

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  13. F-14B

    F-14B #iamPUROHIT Senior Member

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  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    sukhoi radar also functions as a mini AWAC not at the level of phalcon but still significant


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Scrutator

    Scrutator Regular Member

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    Because, the radar signals are electromagnetic and will not effectively pass through metal walls (plane's fuselage). That's why you need to keep the radar above the plane's fuselage, housed in non-metallic chamber.
    Even the fighter jets' nose is either made of Kevlar, Quartz or other non-metallic substance.
    Hope this helps.
     
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  16. HariPrasad-1

    HariPrasad-1 Senior Member Senior Member

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    They have a jamming ability too.
     
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  17. F-14B

    F-14B #iamPUROHIT Senior Member

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    I understand but i think some thing like this would be good RSAF_Gulfstream_IAI_G550_CAEW_(Conformal_Airborne_Early_Warning).jpg 4X-JYS_Micha_Sender.jpg
     
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  18. Scrutator

    Scrutator Regular Member

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    Each have their own 'ease of architecture' advantages vs 'wider & unobstructed coverage' advantages. In general the farther the radar is away from metallic obstructions the better the results!!

    The scanning happens as an EM 'lobe' (like a baseball bat with its thin end attached to the radar) sweeping in the solid space. So you can imagine how the farther the radars are from other objects the better the coverage would be.

    I am sure Israeli fanboys are pointing to the Erieye & Netra and asking why their AEW&CS systems are not designed like those!!! :)

    The rotodome architecture in general gives the most panoramic coverage!!
     
  19. scatterStorm

    scatterStorm Regular Member

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    Quite agreed, but you are missing the point here, drone swarms are quite different for there role and purpose as studied under biomechanics imitating a swarm of bird or locust and hold quite a significance.

    “They are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” according to Strategic Capabilities Office Director William Roper, before emphasizing that there was a human in the loop. Source -- Popular Mechanics.

    Further, this test verify the credibility of swarming predator type fixed wing drones thus lethality and endurance is not a problem anymore.

    The reason why micro drones are much effective is because of the following reasons:

    1. Dirt cheap.
    2. Fabrication requires less time and manufacturing resources
    3. Anti-air weapon! This Is where the silver-lining is crossed. Packing them with C4 and rain down a block of hidden enemy in any geography rather than firing a million $ missile. They can swarm in to home on a target, now that's pure horror.
    4. Most importantly Autonomy, which again tethered drone are unlikely to have as they are inherently tethered. Only exclusion being the Lockheed HAA's.
    5. They serve as a pretense to there bigger badass versions ... the predator series, which if done correctly would cut some few millions spent on human operators, if they are needed for combat duty.
    6. Can perform "eye in the sky roles", such drones can act like a big radar dish, NC in nature and are synced with the onboard mission computers of the jet. E.G. SU50s main role in detecting the F22s is to move in formation with there L-band radars thus enhancing its power, whereas a single SU50 can't detect an F22 using just it's own L-band radar.

    In contrast, Tethered drones will be used mostly for "eye in the sky" type roles, which is quite effective IMO but that's it for them! Lockheed martin is pitching it's prototype for an autonomous aerostat with radar surveillance. Here's one : http://www.lockheedmartin.co.in/us/products/lighter-than-air-vehicles/haa.html
     
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  20. Scrutator

    Scrutator Regular Member

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    I fully understand the POTENTIAL role of drone swarms in both military and non-military (even though none have been deployed as yet). Perhaps you gave a different impression when you started your previous post with "Or simply just ......."
    which gave me the impression that the drone swarm is a substitute for the Tethered Drone; the reasons why its not a substitute is already given in my previous post.
     

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