EXCLUSIVE: Navy to network-target test Derby AAM from upgraded Sea Harrier

As part of the Limited Upgrade Sea Harrier (LUSH), the Indian Navy will shortly conduct its second live firing test of the Israeli Derby beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), a weapon system that has been integrated to the last of the Navy’s Sea Harriers as part of the upgrade programme. While the first live firing of the Derby active-radar seeker missile was conducted using the aircraft’s primary sensor, the next test will be from one of the Navy’s upgraded Sea Harriers with its radar switched off. Guidance will be provided from another platform, either on the ground or in the air.

According to Navy sources in South Block, the LUSH programme has made the Sea Harriers fully new aircraft. The heart of the upgrade is of course the replacement of the venerable old Ferranti Blue Fox monopulse airborne intercept radar with the time-tested EL/M-2032 multimode advanced pulse doppler radar. The new radar, in the words of one of the pilots, has put the aircraft in “a different league”. While sea clutter proved to be the bane of look-down missions with the Blue Fox radar (the sweep would be swamped), the Elta sensor has none of those issues.

Of the nine Sea Harriers involved in the LUSH programme, seven have been upgraded and delivered back to the Navy, while two are currently being upgraded by HAL. The INS Viraat, currently undergoing a mini-refit in Kochi, will be back in service by September-October, and will have the LUSH Harriers on board.

Photo by Shiv Aroor

7 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: Navy to network-target test Derby AAM from upgraded Sea Harrier”

  1. Shiv, would you please look for and post a picture of the upgraded Sea Harriers with Derby AAMs ? Does the new Elta 2032 radar make any difference to the radome of the SHar or do they look the same ?

  2. By the way, Shiv, really looking forward to a detailed look at the LCA from your side..when is it going to be posted ? Hope you get access to the LCA with new pictures and information..after Ajai Shukla's self imposed exile, there is very little known about the progress on the LCA front.

  3. there could be zhuk me radar with r77 missile onboard sea harrier
    along with russina PGM/standoff weapons

    and r77 missile has much better range than derby missile

  4. Regarding the choice of Cobham for IFR probe and Quartz-crystal nose cone developments, can we rely on them to supply over 100+ of these for the MK1-MK2 projects? And also, around 500's in the future for AMCA-ALCA projects? Will UK Govt. allow Cobham to involve an Indian Pvt. Industry partner for 100% ToT manufacturing of these in India?? Why did not Dr. Talimani consider these questions before shortlisting Cobham? We could have taken IFR probes from say Russia and Quartz Nose cones from maybe South Korea also, for reliable deliveries going into the future right?? Now, UK/USA Govt's can hold us to ransom by denying supply of these crucial items!! Then ADA would go running around to find other suppliers… I strongly feel that more thought process should have gone in on choice of vendor & country for these two EXTREMELY important items for LCA MK1 & MK2 projects!

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