Uttam AESA Fire Control Radar approaching conclusion of trials
The final round of testing for India’s first airborne Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar for fighter jets has concluded, and it will soon begin user-assisted trials before being cleared for mass production. The created AESA radar is 95 percent indigenous, with only one imported subsystem, according to the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment.
It can track 50 targets in the sky across a 100-kilometer range and engage four of them at the same time. First, 20 Tejas MK1Aey jets will be equipped with Israeli Elta ELM 2052 AESA radars, with subsequent batches receiving the Uttam Mk1 AESA Fire Control Radar, which has 780 Transmit Receive modules on an antenna size that is adequate for the engine’s power constraints.
Uttam Aesa Radar has already completed 250 hours of in-flight trials in all modes on two Limited series LCA Tejas aircraft and another on a leased Hawker Siddeley 800 Business executive jet.
The Electronics & Radar Development Establishment has received an updated AESA FCR known as Uttam Mk2, with the primary antenna including 992 arrays of Transmit Receive modules, for further testing. The AESA Mk2 will be used in the first pre-production Tejas Mk2, which is expected to be released in late 2022 or early 2023.
IAF to replace Russian Radar with Uttam AESA MK3 in Super Sukhoi Upgrades
The Indian Air Force has already accepted the Technical Feasibility Study conducted by the Electronics & Radar Development Establishment in order to produce an upscaled Uttam Mk3, which would be used in the 150 Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets under the “Super Sukhoi” programme.
HAL proposed upgrading 200 Sukhoi-30 Fighter Jets with improved indigenous radars, avionics, cockpit layouts, and electronic warfare suites in January of this year, and the project is awaiting IAF approval. The Super Sukhoi upgrades have been placed on hold due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the government has asked stakeholders to add more made-in-India parts and content in the Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft.
Naval Version of Uttam Radar under proposal for TEDBF & Naval AMCA
A proposal for the TEDBF initiative to create a Naval version of the improved Uttam-2 that incorporates Mk3 features of gallium nitride wide band gap semiconductors with enhanced Maritime application is currently being considered and is expected to be approved soon.
The HAL Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) is a carrier-based multirole combat aircraft with a canard delta wing and twin engines currently in development for the Indian Navy. The Aeronautical Development Agency is designing and developing the TEDBF, which will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The TEDBF is designed to carry out a variety of missions, including air superiority, air interdiction, anti-access, anti-area denial, anti-ship warfare, and electronic warfare. Onboard the INS Vikramaditya and the forthcoming INS Vikrant, the TEDBF is scheduled to replace the MiG-29K.
Uttam Mk3 under development for AMCA Mk2
For the AMCA programme, the Electronics & Radar Development Establishment is also working on a lightweight and compact gallium nitride-based Active Electronically Scanned Array antenna.
The development of AMCA will result in a significant increase in India’s technological capacity. The basic design phase of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) programme is already complete, and the detailed design phase has begun. It is an indigenous fifth-generation fighter featuring features such as stealth, internal weaponry, super cruise, serpentine air intake, and other features that are in line with fifth-generation aircraft technology.
The prototypes will be built using Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) models that will involve the Defence Research and Development Organisation, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and private partners.