Jaguar strike aircraft number JM 255, parked in a Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) hangar in Bengaluru, is superficially similar to the other 600-odd fighters in the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet. In fact, it is unique in IAF history as the first Indian fighter to be integrated with an AESA — or active electronically scanned array — radar.
The upgrade is said to modernise and extend the life of the strike aircraft by more than a decade.
HAL Chairman T. Suvarna Raju said an Indian fighter flying with an AESA radar is in itself a landmark.
The AESA radar — imported from Israel — enables the fighter to track multiple targets; communicate in multiple frequencies through high bandwidth apart from offering high accuracy and resolution, an official said.
A set of Jaguars procured in 1983 is being upgraded from level DARIN I to DARIN III. DARIN, or Display Attack Ranging Inertial Navigation, stands for features that add teeth to these planes during combat.
Of the 50-odd planes assigned for upgrade, three variants are getting refurbished in terms of a new fire control radar, engine & flight instrument system, a GPS-based inertial navigation system, a digital video recording system, a smart multi-function display and a radio altimeter with a 20,000 feet range.
HAL’s Mission & Combat System Research & Design Centre has carried out the upgrade of software, hardware, electrical and mechanical elements.
The aircraft can get back to work for the IAF after the upgrades are tested and certified to be combat-worthy.
By : Defence News