Saturday, September 12, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: IAF Wants Extra Radar Mode On MMRCA AESAs

For all the stated technological advancements present in the only two operational AESA radars competing in the MMRCA competition, the Indian Air Force has informed the two principle integrators (Boeing and Lockheed-Martin respectively) that radar modes available on the Northrop-Grumman AN/APG-80 radar (F-16IN) and the Raytheon AN/APG-79 (F/A-18E/F) do not include a specific one that the IAF refuses to do without: the "weather radar mode". Though both Boeing and Lockheed-Martin tried to convince the IAF that their respective radars (and integrated avionics) were built to provide data and flightpath solutions through, over or around bad weather, the IAF has insisted that it wants the AESAs offered with a traditional weather radar mode as a separate mode option. The default modes demanded by the IAF, excluding interleaved and data-fused modes, are air-to-air search, air-to-air track, ocean surface search, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mapping, ground/sea target indicator and track and active beam mapping.

Lockheed-Martin has made it official now that the APG-80 radar will therefore undergo a certain amount of further development work to meet the IAF's requirement. This applies to Raytheon as well.

Photo by Shiv Aroor / Raytheon APG-79, Lemoore Naval Air Station, California

25 comments:

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Not only this mode, but a separate Stormscope LRU installation was also specified. The Stormscope will also go on board the IAF's to-be-delivered Mi-17V-5s, and on the to-be-upgraded Mirage 2000s, Jaguar IS and MiG-29s. But what about the Dhruv ALH and LUSH-standard Sea Harriers? No answers forthcoming from HAL thus far.

Anonymous said...

Talk about being choosy. Nice.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

Stormscope will also be a mandatory installation on the to-be-upgraded An-32Bs and the IL-214 MRTA. If only it had already been on board existing An-32Bs, quite a few fatal air crashes could have been averted, including the last one.

Anonymous said...

hi shiv, i remember reading sometime back that the met department wanted to purchase some hurricane hunter C-130s. what is the update on this?

Anonymous said...

prasun, the point is that the iaf has asked for more radar modes from the aesa. what relevance does it have if there is a requirement for some other sensor or system? stormscope is not a part of the radar, as far as i know.

Anonymous said...

Shiv,

What about the other competitors, do they need the same mode as well, do they have it already?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.27AM: In aviation parlance the answer to your "what relevance does it have" point is: back-up. That's precisely even in present-day glass cockpits you will notice conventional electro-mechanical instrumentation like standby AHRS and altimeter just in case a debilitating lightning strike causes the catastrophic failure of all on-board electrical systems when one's flying under IFR conditions.

Anonymous said...

where do the others even have operational AESA radars yaar. only the american jets have AESA. the others are not ready yet so it is premature to talk about radar modes let along anything else!!!

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@1.27AM: In addition to the above, the Stormscope provides early detection of storm
cells, and displays lightning at ranges up to 200 nautical miles (a lot more than what any AESA-based airborne radar can). Simply turn your system on and monitor thunderstorm activity even before you leave the ground. Pick four selectable ranges, two separate views, a built-in checklist, and a timer to keep track of your elapsed time on approach.

Anonymous said...

The age of AESA would have passed by the time India makes a decision on MRCA.

Vincent said...

For sure with this mode the Indian air force are going to use these MRCA planes over the ocean. That makes a 2-engine plane definite, and which plane has salt water resistance, superb transonic performance and nose-pointing ability, naval weapons integration right off the bat, already ready AESA, and enduring open water ops like the F-18E?

I am so happy. Now the Indians are waking up from their colonial coma.

Anonymous said...

This is like an old, retired अंकलजी going into a Mercedes showroom, and 'demanding' that he will only buy an E-Class when Mercedes fits a small swivel type ventilation window near A-pillar like in his old PAL Padmini.

It is beyond retarded.

Anonymous said...

am i seeing livefist or trishul group blog?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am conducting a survey of Indian Bloggers - I will be extremely grateful if you can take 5 mins to fill up this survey
http://www.kwiksurveys.com/online-survey.php?surveyID=OHMEM_bf00d0a9

Regards & Sorry for spamming.

Anonymous said...

Here goes again pole dancer vincent. Thats how you yanks think of us indians. Rafale exceeds all the parameters you mentioned with respect to F-18. Trust me it would be a really big shocker when you see the results. Keep up your dirty work, you paid slut.

Anonymous said...

Anon@11:44, understand why the IAF needs the weather radar mode, it is essential given how many lives have been lost in ops in the NE and North (J&K) thanks to sudden onset of weather conditions which worsen visibility and cause disorientation and crashes. This is about saving lives, you idiot Sinha.

Anonymous said...

Without open source any radar is useless no matter how many modes? Who owns most of US debt? So who is gonna "SWITCH OFF" indian platforms and radars in the event of tiff with the friendly dragon?

Anonymous said...

The MiG-35 fulfills all the requirements of weather radar mode.

Let us buy MiG-35s, it is the best thing that is Flying around in the world

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see whether France offers the same level of technology transfer to India which France is offering to Brazil in Rafale deal.

Given the past track record of Mirage in IAF as well as the fact Rafale, unlike US planes, comes sanction free plus it is a fairly contemporary aircraft makes it one of the front runners in the MRCA competition.

Anonymous said...

1) The Brazilians are getting help for their nuclear submarines. The french are buying transports from the Brazilians. And, the Brazilian Prez is going to make the final decision. The dynamics are totally different. India will get complete ToT for the Rafale no matter what, as long as India is willing to PAY for them

2) I am little confused on this AESA "mode" topic. Will the US AESA radars have ability to network and even perhaps be used as fry electronics?

TIA.

Vincent said...

American radars can, but I'm not sure they'll sell you that tech because its cutting edge.

what i also know is that Russian radars won't have it. they're more backward than the europeans, and the euros dont have that.

Don't buy flying coffins, fly USA.

Anonymous said...

shiv plz see http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R40796.pdf
it say India buys 6 C130J
cargo aircraft for $962 million while Iraq buys 6
C130J cargo aircraft for $534 million.where did nearly 400 million went?this can be breaking news for u.

Anonymous said...

@ Prasun K Sengupta. Dude - Suggest you brush up your gen a little before displaying ignorance on this blog. Stormscope as a mandatory requirement on the MMRCA is laughable. A dedicated weather / ligghtning detection radar on a medium fighter? Give us a break.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@6.50PM: Before asking me to brush up, kindly convey your suggestions to the M-MRCA's ASQR drafters who are asking for such LRUs and modes of operation. Dude, check out the RFP's contents first before making false assumptions like lumping the two separate systems (AESA radar with weather display/precipitation mode, and the Stormscope for displaying storm
cells and thunderstorm activity such as lightning) into one. They're not, and are utilised for distinctly different functions.

Anonymous said...

Hi Prasun K Sengupta,

Is the full text of the RFP for the MRCA available in the public domain? If so, please provide a link from where I can download the doc. If not, I shall be grateful if you can provide the highlights of the RFP in your blog or somewhere else. Since, the IAF has clarified that any fighter meeting the RFP requirements and costing the least would most likely win the contest, it makes a lot of sense to perusue the doc thoroughly.