Friday, December 11, 2009

DRDO’s focus: Deep penetration radars

Shubhadeep Choudhury

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has directed its focus on developing radars useful for fighting low intensity conflicts (LICs). S Varadarajan, director of Electronic and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) - a DRDO affiliate - said they were working on developing radars that would capture images penetrating obstacles such as foliage and concrete walls. “These radars are urgently required by our security forces,” he said.

The LRDE director, while talking to this reporter on the sidelines of the International Radar Symposium, India (IRSI), that began here yesterday, said the foliage penetration radar would be operated from an airborne platform and would be able to detect man and manmade objects hidden below foliage.

He said the wall penetration radar would be kept in a horizontal position on the ground and detect targets - both moving and stationary - hidden behind concrete walls. Varadarajan said they were also working on a radar with the capability to penetrate the ground to search for hidden mines. This radar would be operated by remote control since direct manual control could put the life of its handler in danger. All these radars would be ready in “two to three years time”.

He said work was on to develop synthetic aperture radar (SAR) of X-band frequency. An SAR having X-band frequency is considered ideal for military purposes since such radars pick up metallic objects well and give accurate images. The radar could be used by fitting it with a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). Varadarajan said it would take another three years time for the X-band SAR to be ready.

The LRDE director also revealed that work on manufacturing an indigenous Active Electronically Scanned Array radar (AESA radar) had made significant progress. AESAs allow ships and aircrafts to broadcast powerful radar signals to detect targets while remaining hidden. He said the AESA radars would be fitted with LCA Mark 2 - an upgraded version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft - slated to be rolled out in 2014.

Tribune India


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